Begin with the End in Mind for Weight Loss – 13 days to GroundHog Day Resolutions

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Image: 'quiet I'm thinking' www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/292262245

Our goal in the next two weeks is to get ourselves so worked up and convinced that we can be healthier and meet our weight loss goals that it becomes inevitable.  Even if you have failed in the past with dieting or exercise regiments, we must overcome that negative karma in order to generate our the positive self-image required for the arduous tasks ahead.

Really?  Arduous tasks?  What’s so arduous about our tasks ahead?

In the future, we’re going to have to break down all our bad habits and replace them with good healthy habits.  The only way we can do that is to be in a positive emotional state leaving our baggage behind.  Don’t worry about these arduous tasks, for when we’re done, we’re going to make these tasks be the easiest things you’ve ever did.

Huh?  wait a minute, did you just say that we’re going to make our weight loss goals and exercise habits the easiest thing we ever did?  How the heck are we going to do that?

The right frame of mind.  That’s what we have to do in the next two weeks.  We have got to convince ourselves, by 02-02 (Feb 2), that there is no way we will fail.  No way.

One of the reasons we built simpleweight was to help everyone manage their own fitness.  When I say everyone, I include myself in this list.  Have you ever seen a Fitness Expert, Diet Book Author, or Diet and Weight Management website owner be unhealthy, unfit, and generally obese?  Neither have I. So, my brother and I built simpleweight to help us maintain our own physical fitness and healthy body weight.

Now, I wouldn’t call myself obese by any means, in fact, its borderline whether I’m fat or not, but I’m also not the symbol of fitness a weight loss website owner should be.  When I follow my own advice, I lose weight, I feel better, I look better, I save money, and I eat less.   When I don’t follow my own advice, I do the opposite.  Well, what have I done, I haven’t gained weight, but I haven’t lost weight either.  So, I have failed at meeting my weight loss and physical fitness goals, but I don’t like to call it failure.  It’s just taking me longer than I expected.  I will succeed, because I will act.  Action must come before the success.

Around the web, people are losing their way with weight management.  For example,  Oprah recently went on her show and discussed her weight issues. Oprah now weighs over 200 lbs. (I am surprised and happy to hear that I weigh less than her.  Then again, she is worth a billions of dollars, and I am not. Of course, money does matter.)   I have followed the fellas at getfitslowly.com on their journey for weight loss.  I’m totally surprised that their experiences almost mimic my own progress.  They are eating better, they feel better, but they are not meeting their own weight loss goals. In fact, they had a discussion just this last summer about what it means to be healthy and fit, and whether you can be fit and still be overweight.  Ultimately, I’d say they are healthier and with God’s good grace, they will live longer because of their efforts. Starling

Many of us, fluctuate.  We get on the horse ride a bit, then fall off, and we forget to get back up on the horse again for too long.  We let our bad habits take over our good habits.  It takes a long, long time to turn bad habits into good habits. However, it takes perseverance.  I know I will do it, and I know you can too.

So, How do I get back my Positive Outlook?  How do I turn the tide and return to the healthy habits of daily exercise and eat until satisfied rather than eat until full.

I generate positive inertia by re-focusing on the long-term.

I’ve been analyzing it by comparing Weight Loss and Fitness to other Common Business and Personal Problems.  For Example,  David Allen with Getting Things Done suggests that there are 6 levels for reviewing your own work. He compares our work to altitude.  At the Runway level, we have the immediate next action.  In other words, what am I going to do right now at this very moment in order to achieve the larger goal of projects which operate at the 10,000 foot level.  Projects below to our Areas of responsibility at the 20,000 foot level.  Which hopefully are moving us toward are One to Two Year Goals at the 30,000 foot level.  Working us towards our 40,000 foot level of 5 year vision which leads us to the 50,000+ Foot Level of the Big Picture, and other Purpose for Living Life Goals.  For some people, Not knowing your purpose or not knowing your one to two year goals, they can operate just fine.  In other words, They can fly the plane just fine even though they don’t know where they are going.  I am not one of those people.

I need to have a very, very clear focus at where I want to go at the 40,000 foot level otherwise, my plane is all over the runway and probably won’t even take off.  If it does take off, then it’s all wobbly while it reaches the 10,000 foot level.  I need that Long Term Crystal Clear Vision or Mission.

Let’s look at another example, in Stephen Covey’s books: The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People and First Things First, he provides “Begin with the End in Mind”  as habit number two and the need for us to have a moral compass.  We need this compass in order for us to find direction.  Without our moral compass, we too often live in the day to day doing not important urgent tasks rather than the not urgent very important projects.

So, our homework as we prepare for Groundhog Day New Year’s Resolutions is to create a moral compass and identify with clarity what we want to happen with our fitness and eating habits.

Ask ourselves these questions:

  • What do I want?
  • How do I want to feel?
  • What do I want to look like?
  • What will my portion sizes look like when I eat?
  • How will it feel to be exercising every day?
  • What am I willing to give up to achieve my new habits?
  • What will people say to you?
  • If a friend walks up to you after not seeing you for a while, what are they going to say when you achieve success by meeting your Ground hog day resolutions?
  • Why?, Why?, Why?, Why?, Why?, Why?  (Ask yourself why repeatedly six or more times until you are precise with an answer.  it helps when you have a 3 or 4 year old ask you. )
Image: 'Spiral-Bound Pad' www.flickr.com/photos/49503155381@N01/2475849569
Image: 'Spiral-Bound Pad' www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/2475849569

Homework Assignment:

Our Goal for this homework assignment is to write down in crystal clear vivid imagery what do we want to be and achieve.  We will need to write in present and/or past tense.  I often suggest you find magazine or website pictures of buff women or men and photoshop or paste your head on your ideal body.  Build that vivid image that is so clear that you’ll be experiencing it.

Visualization Assignment:

Now clear your head by breathing in and out sitting on a firm but comfortable chair.  Listen to your breath in and out.  Count 15 even average breaths from fifteen slowly down to one.  Now, imagine you are stepping onto a scale. You see the toes and feet perfectly shaped without any excess weight stepping on the scale.  As you wait for the scale to spin to your ideal size, you notice how lean you feel and how strong your heart is.  re standing on a scale.  You look down and see that you are weighing the exact amount for your ideal body image.  The scale then scans your Body Fat % and calculates your BMI.  More waiting, and you see the body fat % is exactly as it should be and the BMI is right in your healthy range.  As you step off the scale, you look at a full length mirror and notice your body is the perfect picture of health and vitality. You notice your calves are strong lean and give your body shape.  Your thighs are not big, but not skinny.  They’re just right for your height, the waist and hips curve just perfectly to give you a beautiful look and fit your thin stomach right into your perfect chest.  Your arms are toned and the strength you have to do daily tasks that were so difficult before are now just as easy as floating a feather.

It helps to know where we are going, before we get on the plane.  We may have to take some twists and turns due to unforeseen circumstances, but we still have the end in the mind.

If you want to share, post your answers to the homework below.  If you want more privacy, but still want to share, email me your answers to coach [at] simpleweight [dot] com  –or– use our contact us form.

What is my the image of my perfectly healthy me in present tense?

Your Fitness Bicycle Follows Your Habitual Inner Eye.

As my last post implied about restaurants, I was on vacation for a bit.

Upon returning from vacation, my writing time, my family time, my work productivity, my exercise habits, and my simpleweight development time have been competing for attention as demonstrated by my recent drop off in simpleweight posts. It’s amazing when one’s commitments begin to compete how people react.

  • Some people buckle down, pick one thing and get right to it.
  • Other people multi-task, and do little things from every piece.
  • Other people become overwhelmed by the forest of projects that the tasks that are trees get lost and ultimately procrastination sets in.
  • Other people trim their obligations.
  • We all follow our Inner Eye trained by our Habits.

Since humans are creatures of habits, regardless of your response, all of us tend to slip in to old habits.  I know I have.  My eating quantity is up, my exercise is down, and my emotional state is directly related to that.  While reading the web as I love to do, I noticed this:

When the schedule gets squeezed, exercise and diet are the last things to cut from my daily routine.  –some commenter on some blog somewhere.

That’s a great mind-set.  Health and Fitness should be one of your top priorities.  I know I can help improve it.  In fact, I believe when you improve your diet and exercise, the rest of the commitments tend to fall in place.  It’s a balance between your passions, your fitness, and your spiritualism/science.  When one is of out whack, the rest of them follow suit.

Here’s a good analogy:  While driving a car or riding a bicycle, if you look to the right, you will start to move towards the direction you are looking.  It’s a balance.  The same came be said for our fitness habits.

If you let one of your habits veer off course, the rest of your habits will follow.  The reverse can be said.

For example, I noticed if I start exercising, I feel good, and then without thinking I start to become conscious of my eating habits.

Another example, a friend of mine and I went to a baseball game.  I ate a hot dog, and he ate a salad.  — Huh? A salad at a ball game?  Well, the backstory is the friend is highly motivated to eat healthy and exercise.  In no uncertain terms, his doctor said exercise and eat healthy.  Wow, what motivation.

Now, my friend asks, instead of how am I going to fit that run in,  how am I going to fit in everything around my running time.  The exercise time is non-negotiable.  By changing your self-questions, one changes their habits and ultimately creates the healthy balance.

Where is your inner eye looking?  How has that impacted your fitness habits?

New Diet Books of 2008 for weight loss

Today, 2008 is 7/12ths complete, and summer weight loss has only a month to go. It’s time to get back to basics and review those 2008 new years resolutions, goals, and weight loss articles that proliferated in January.

Time Magazine wrote a piece titled: Weighing the New Diet Books which does a good review of the 2008 diet books.

I’m amazed at all the diet books out there, and they keep coming. Of course, I am tempted to write my own diet book. In fact, I have two working titles and I’ve been brainstorming outlines for a while. Besides that, What are the New Notable Diet Books of 2008 for weight loss

  1. Eat This, Not That!, By David Zinczenko with Matt Goulding, 304 pages.
  2. How to Eat Like a Hot Chick, By Jodi Lipper and Cerina Vincent, 168 pages. (Such a short book, What! Do Hot Chicks not eat much ?)
  3. Skinny Bitch in the Kitch, By Rory Freedman and Kim Barnouin, 192 pages.
  4. Slim for Live, By Dr. Gillian, 223 pages.
  5. The GenoType Diet, By Dr. Peter J. D’Adamo with Catherin Whitney, 317 pages.
  6. The All-New Atkins Advantage, By Dr. Stuart L. Trager with Colette Heimowitz, 362 pages.
  7. The No-Crave Diet, By Dr. Penny Kendall-Reed and Dr. Stephen Reed, 224 pages.
  8. The Spectrum, By Dr. Dean Ornish, 386 pages.
  9. The Ultimate TEA Diet, By Mark “Dr. Tea” Ukra, 306 pages.
  10. Women’s Health Perfect Body Diet, By Cassandra Forsthe 356 pages.

A couple of notables missing from Time Magazine’s list:

  1. The Flat Belly Diet, by Liz Vaccariello
  2. The 12 Second Sequence: Shrink Your Waist in 2 Weeks by Jorge Cruise, 256 pages.
  3. The Advanced Mediterranean Diet: Lose Weight, Feel Better, Live Longer, 304 pages.

Let me give you a hint (since my book is not yet published). I think you are what you read, and you are what you eat. So, if you read books about science, you’ll become a scientist. If you read books about diet and nutrition, you’ll soon adapt those habits as well. So, you can never read too many books. You’ll always learn something. However, It does not matter how many diet books you read, you still need to DO! Action needs to conincide with your reading Exercise, Fitness, Weight Loss, Diet, or even Cooking Books. If you don’t do, you’ll never reap the benefits.

What are some of my books in my Library that I re-read every so often?

I still recommend the free Hack Diet Book as a great starting place. For other great books, I recommend the following:

  • 8 Minutes in the Morning: A Simple Way to Shed up to 2 Pounds a Week Guaranteed by Jorge Cruise and Anthony Robbins
  • The 3-Hour Diet: Lose up to 10 Pounds in Just 2 Weeks by Eating Every 3 Hours! by Jorge Cruise
  • The Abs Diet: The Six-Week Plan to Flatten Your Stomach and Keep You Lean for Life by David Zinczenko and Ted Spiker
  • Mindless Eating: Why We Eat More Than We Think by Brian Wansink
  • The Cardio-Free Diet by Jim Karas
  • You: On A Diet: The Owner’s Manual for Waist Management by Mehmet C. Oz and Michael F. Roizen
  • The Volumetrics Eating Plan: Techniques and Recipes for Feeling Full on Fewer Calories by Barbara J. Rolls

What about you? What is your favorite Diet or Fitness Book?

Weight Loss – Back to the Basics

I recently read a ChangeThis manifesto, The New Time Management: Simply Focus on the Fundamentals, and Toss Away the Tips, By Francis Wade.

Francis describes 7 fundamentals he believes are critical for any professional to master Time Management. He makes the comparison to athletes who have to refocus on the fundamentals. For example:

  • Tiger Woods going to practice and making 1000’s of putts a day.
  • Or a Professional basketball player, such as Michael Jordan, taking 1000’s of free throws or jump shots a day.
  • Or Maria Sharapova, a tennis player who takes thousands of tennis swings a day.

All of these all stars, or professional athletes, practice fundamentals deliberately every day.

Can we stop there? As a hobby trombonist taking lessons with Professional Trombone Performers, They all stress fundamental practices such as learning scales, breathing exercises, note flexibility studies, and so on and so forth.

 Image: 'THE TENNIS SESSIONS' www.flickr.com/photos/42369167@N00/711672576
Image: 'THE TENNIS SESSIONS' www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/711672576

Let’s rephrase Francis Wade’s Title:

Weight Loss Manifesto: The New Weight Loss System: Simply Focus on the Fundamentals and Throw Away the Tips.

Every day, we hear tips in the form of fad diets. Flat Belly MUFA Diet, South Beach Diet, Atkins Protein Diet, Mediterranean Diet, French Diet, Don’t Eat Anything Diet, See Food Diet, Peanut Butter and Jelly Diet, I could go on and on. As my brother says, in You don’t diet? you have a diet – now make it a good one.

What’s the deal? What should I do with all these fad diets? Francis Wade Suggest when it comes to Time Management Systems:

…The result is that the users of different systems are either raving fans, or failed adopters.
The fans are the lucky ones whose habits easily fit into the new system they are learning. The failures are those who get fired up for a few days, and after a week are forced to go back to their old habits.

My observation is that the vast majority of professionals take a bit from here and a bit from there to craft their own unique set of habits. Unfortunately, they do so without understanding the fundamentals, and the results in some cases are disastrous.

Their system of habits doesn’t work, but they don’t know why. It allows stress, missed appointments and forgotten commitments to occur too frequently, but they don’t know where to start to fix their systems.

Luckily for them, the 7 fundamental practices are perfect for the job or fixing, upgrading or adapting personal time management systems.

When a professional athlete’s game deteriorates, which happens to all of them at some point in time, they go back to the fundamentals. So must a working professional.

I would add so must an everyday healthy person. Everyday, we must be cognizant of our diet and exercise choices and focus on the fundamentals.

Often times, people start a new diet, see results at first, but then fall off the wagon. Why? Because that system doesn’t fit YOU. Everyone is different. Just as a professional must pick and choose what items fit in their own time management habits, we as healthy eaters must pick and choose habits that fit our own bodies and minds.

Okay, we understand.  Focus on the Fundamentals: What are the fundamentals of a becoming physically fit the abridged version?

Monitor your Biometrics at regular intervals

Possible examples:

  • weigh yourself everyday,
  • measure your waist line every week
  • Record your BMI every month
  • take a picture of yourself every month

Exercise, and be mindful about the exercise

Find an exercise you like and do it effortlessly.

  • Some people are Artists, I say then paint building sized murals that require dexterity.
  • Some people are outdoors people, I say hike in the forest, or garden.
  • Some people are shoppers, then I say go to the biggest mall you can find and walk and walk, and walk as much as you can as often as you can.
  • Do it everyday.

Eat Standard Portions

Healthy Eating has its own set of Fundamentals which we’ll talk about sometime in the future. Generally, I’d say:

  • Eat Protein and MUFA at every meal
  • Eat Plants as much as possible.
  • Learn what the correct portion is, and stick to it!

Retrain your Emotional and Social Eating

How do we do this?

  • Keep a Food Diary.  By keeping a food diary and writing down what you eat before you eat it, You’ll be mindful of what you are doing.  This will you stop binges.
  • Making your Weight Management Public and Social.  By sharing your goals with your friends, you are putting peer pressure on yourself.  It’s amazing how many people will not want to let someone else down, but they’ll let themselves down all the time.  In other words, if you tell your friend you are not going to eat ice cream today.  You don’t want to let that friend down.  If you tell yourself and only yourself, you are more likely to break that self promise since it is not out in the public.
  • Become a Positive person.

Some diets say exercise 8 minutes a day. Some diets say eat 60% protein, 30% fat, 10% carbs. Some Diets say eat fish and oil.  Some diets suggest walking 10,00 steps a day. Whatever it is, Focus on the Fundamentals.

Since Weight Loss is personal and everyone is different,  What are your fundamentals?

Dear Food Diary: Please Help Me Lose Weight

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Using a food diary to track what you eat may be the secret to weight loss. New research published in the August issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, shows that keeping a food diary can double a person’s weight loss.

“The more food records people kept, the more weight they lost,” said lead author Jack Hollis Ph.D., a researcher at Kaiser Permanente’s Center for Health Research in Portland, OR. “Those who kept daily food records lost twice as much weight as those who kept no records.”

In addition to keeping food diaries and turning them in at weekly support group meetings, the 1,700 participants were asked to follow a heart-healthy DASH (a Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet rich in fruits and vegetables and low-fat or non-fat dairy, attend weekly group sessions, and exercise at moderate intensity levels for at least 30 minutes a day. After six months, the average weight loss was approximately 13 pounds and more than two-thirds of the participants (69 percent) lost at least nine pounds.

Researchers note that keeping a food journal does not have to be formal or time-intensive. It can be as simple as using a pen and paper to write down what you’ve eaten for the day, or typing your meals into an online food journaling program.

“It’s the process of reflecting on what you eat that helps us become aware of our habits, and hopefully change our behavior,” says Keith Bachman, MD, a Weight Management Initiative member. He adds that food journaling in conjunction with a weight management program is the ideal combination of tools and support.

The SimpleWeight Food Diary

Many weight management Web sites can help you start a food journal, but select sites, such as SimpleWeight.com, offer more advanced options to help with weight loss.

“Writing down what you eat makes you accountable for the calories you are consuming,” said SimpleWeight.com co-creator Scott Stawarz. “Seeing what we eat day after day, and sharing that information with others influences us to make better decisions about what we eat.”

Stawarz adds that SimpleWeight.com offers a comprehensive approach to food journaling and weight management. This comprehensive approach, known as The SimpleWeight Solution, provides:

  • A Food Journaling Program to track what you eat and drink on a daily basis
  • A Food Database that breaks down the calories, fat, and nutrients in foods and beverages, allowing you to see your total intake of calories, etc. for the day
  • An Exercise Database that estimates how many calories you’ve burned based on your weight and length of activity
  • A Weight Tracking System that allows you to input your weight each day and monitors your weight loss/gain trend over time
  • A Social Network to share your weight-loss triumphs and challenges with others

Make weight loss simple – Join Simpleweight to start your own food diary today!