I've noticed recently that a number of my clients are coming to me after delaying self-care for some pretty significant blocks of time. I hear things like, "Now that my child is in school, I want to drop this baby weight and get back to being me", or "I think that is my mother looking back at me in the mirror". It's always a very vulnerable expression of having spent time away from some of the very basic elements of looking after yourself. I understand - we all do. The solution is an immediate reprogramming to recognize that being your best you sometimes means putting yourself first.
The Roles Than "Define" US
As women, it not uncommon for us to put the things we want on hold to develop the aspirations of those around us. It's important to know that taking the time to develop a career or raise a family involves a very subtle form of sacrifice that can leave us with little time for self care. So, how do we turn things around?
Step 1. Stop listening to that voice that tells you to delay things for yourself. To be the best version of you, it's crucial to be bold enough to take the things for yourself that will ground you into a better reality - and to do it without guilt.
Step 2. Decide what issues are unacceptable to you. Choose one maybe two concerns and start there. If you take on too much you may get frustrated and lose focus.. Change doesn't happen overnight. It is one step at a time in the right direction.
Step 3. Arm yourself with experts. When you want to remodel your home you might hire an architect, a contractor and interior designer. Treat yourself as you would any other important project. You may need a trainer , nutritionist, esthetician or a physician. Decide what you want to change then hire appropriately. The professionals who you select should make you feel comfortable and heard. They should be well educated but also model what you would like to achieve. Then listen to what they say and results will follow.
It's More Than Just Looks
I hear people say things like, "you should love yourself as you are." "You don't need others to tell you how you should look or feel." And though I agree with those statements in theory, you should never feel badly about wanting to be what you consider to be your best. And only you should decide what that is. Most everyone feels better when they look better. It's natural and normal, not vain. So put those concerns to rest.
Today Is Your Day
By taking proactive steps to take care of ourselves, we can not only make today better, but we can set the stage for a more compelling and dynamic future. The best you is in you. Get out of the way and let her out. Today.
Eat Healthy Real Food. And Enjoy it.
That means shop the perimeter of the store. Avoid the aisles where processed food resides. Instead choose seasonal and diverse food. Enjoy eating and you will eat less. Take some time to not only plan your meals, but where you will eat them. Make where you eat as appealing as what you eat. If you need inspiration, Pinterest is great for this.
Develop Good Skincare Habits Early
In Europe, this often begins as early as 10 years old for both girls and boys and usually starts with their first facial. Teaching your son or daughter the importance of good skincare leads to a lifetime of healthy skin.
Make Facials and Massages a Part of Their Health Plan.
It’s really not a luxury. Skin is our largest organ — and it needs to be protected. Adults carry some 8 pounds and 22 square feet of it. This fleshy covering does a lot more than make us look presentable. In fact, without it, we would literally evaporate.
Move Their Bodies
Hike, lift weights, walk, ride a bike, take a class. We have wonderful weather here and there is really no excuse for not taking advantage of it. Your body is designed to move, and to do so frequently. When you think you are too tired, that is usually when you need it most. People who exercise always look better, feel better and have youthful energy
Smile More and Be Happy
Ok, maybe you're thinking “I can’t just be happy.” But actually, you can. The reality is that our thoughts create our experiences, because our thoughts determine what we notice, how we think, and therefore, how we feel. "Happiness" is not only a choice, but an active decision. Even if sometimes you don’t feel like it, smiling and positive thoughts can become contagious and lead to genuine happiness.
Less Media, More Interaction
While I believe there is a place for social media and computers in our lives, it is also important to be sure to disconnect. People who consciously turn off all electronic stimulation - yes, that means your phones, computers and headsets - and focus on the world around them are happier and more productive. Consider it the new conscious uncoupling ;)
More Maintenance, Less Extremes
While I always support doing what makes you feel better about yourself, there is more to be said for balance. Those who maintain their health and wellness will find more extreme measures less appealing. Ask Christie Brinkley. Small tweaks as you go result in a beautiful, more natural appearance. Asking an unhealthy body or neglected skin to respond well from extreme measures is unrealistic and will often result in a more artificial appearance. Start with the basics and build from there.
Develop a Sense of Style
You aren't missing the style gene. A sense of style is typically a learned and practiced skill. It is also one of the benefits of aging. As we realize what looks better on us, we care less about the fads and instead focus on our personal style. Getting a color analysis done to determine what works with your skin tone is a great start. Look towards cuts that flatter your body. Nowadays, it's less about dressing your age and more about dressing for your body.
It's something that you already know, but let's go over it again. You can lose weight and rev up your metabolism simply by walking. You can also elevate your mood and in many cases, crack the code to overcoming the cravings that often come at the end of each day. By taking a walk after dinner, every night, you are going to become a believer. I'm not talking about some arduous pilgrimage through rough terrain or walking the local shopping mall. I'm talking about getting up from your meal, passing on dessert, and walking in your neighborhood for even just two tiny miles. In a month, even if you only walk four days a week, you will cover forty miles, and burn 4000 calories. Those are results that everyone has time for.
It Fixes More Than You Think
When you keep this appointment with yourself, the benefits really go beyond what exercise offers. I do my walk without my phone. Don't be scared. You can do it. Just leave it at home, and walk out the door. The freedom you get may surprise you. Not only that, but in the absence of your phone, you may understand how reliant you are on this technology - which is not always a good thing. Simply be present in your walk, and see what 40 minutes can do. A tech diet is good for everyone. You really won't miss a thing.
Killing The Cravings
It can take 20 minutes for the signal to go from the receptors in your stomach to your brain that tell you to stop eating. By eating a sensible dinner, and getting up and heading out, you give time for that process to occur. I have never come home after a walk and been hungry. I find that the method of "Eat and Walk" will also completely erase my desire for something sweet. I don't know how. It just does.
Sticking With It
When I return from my walk, I make a little note on my calendar (yes - my paper one) so I can see how far I've gone in a "week by week" and "month by month" basis. It makes it more fun, and if something isn't fun, chances are, you won't stick with it. I keep it fresh by walking different routes and exploring streets I haven't been down. I like seeing the different landscaping designs and color schemes that people use on their homes. It gives me something to look forward to, and I use a very simple "20 minutes is a mile" method to track my distances. It's not exactly accurate, but for this, it's close enough.
You Have The Time
I had friend tell me a long time ago, that no matter what you do, the time will pass. So this summer, get out there and walk after dinner. I bet by August, many of you have gone beyond 100 miles. That is real. So, as the summer passes, you can get out and be a part of it and cover the distance of a few marathons, or you can have that second helping everyday and complain that your bathing suit must have shrunk. Totally up to you.......
It's bound to happen at some point. The system you have been using for optimum performance stops working : It's time to mix it up.
The human body (and the mind) are highly adaptable. You can get into a non-optimal performance pattern with your training regimen, your sleep schedule, and even your diet. We are looking for a constant upward progression, no matter how small, and the first step toward assurance of success comes in two simple words. Let go.
Let's pretend everything in your life is exactly the same, but you aren’t performing at your physical or mental peak. Go to the gas tank first. What are you eating? What are you not eating? What have you let slowly slip into your diet that seemed so benign at first but is now firmly in the rotation and is stealing your thunder? Fix it. The simplest way to achieve this is to do a five day diary. For five days, (one weekend day and four weekdays) write down everything you eat and at exactly what time you are eating. A simple entry of “coffee” isn’t good enough - You even need to log the 1 oz of creamer (even if it's sugar free). Try it. I think you will be surprised what has gotten off track. It’s not easy to maintain the discipline of a healthy diet day in and day out. Unfortunately, it is easy to allow variations in your diet become standard. It's those standards that make or break your efforts toward optimum health.
What about your work out? You have it down….its totally predictable - you know exactly how long it will take and what level of fatigue you can expect to have (or not have) as the day progresses. Plus it’s brainless and automatic. Headphones on, brain off, magically its over and you didn’t even realize it. Time to let go. You need a new way to reach your destination, and it’s going to take some new thinking. Get outside. Go plyometric. Do something different. Whatever you do, mix it up. You body is dying for a new challenge.
If your sleep is suffering, take a look at your nightly rituals. Do you stop looking at your computer or phone a few hours before bed? Have you started the nasty habit of eating anything close to bedtime that can disrupt your sleep cycle? Are you so overtrained that you are restless during the night and tired in the morning? Never forget that you train in the gym and you grow and repair in bed. Maybe you need a few weeks of conscientious under-training. Sleep is a precious commodity essential to both body and brain function. Never sacrifice your sleep. Remember - alcohol can significantly disrupt your normal sleep cycle. Be honest about the reasons you aren’t resting. Fix it. And get some new pillows……you deserve it.
When you make an investment, you are looking for a return. When you invest in yourself, you should expect no less. If your time is not paying the dividends you should be getting based on your honest efforts, then revamp your routine and let go.
OK Ladies - I know all the excuses. It's the holidays, your kids are home from school, you have shopping to finish, parties to attend, and blah, blah, blah. Save it. None of these things should keep you from taking care of yourself during the holiday season.
So many people charge into the new year behind the eight ball because they put their fitness on the back burner, and over indulge in every way. Why put yourself in a position to be under the power of a huge New Year's Resolution? By keeping yourself on track throughout this time of year, you can start 2018 with a head start on making it your best year ever.
I'm encouraging all of you to get in just 30 minutes of cardio a day from today through January 6, 2018. It doesn't matter what you choose - just put the time in. It comes to 20 sessions - just 10 hours out of the 480 hours between now and then. I'm not asking for much.
My best advice for this challenge is to set your alarm and knock it out early. Not only will this free up your day for all your holiday fun, but it will be a good motivator to hold back on the alcohol. Make this appointment with yourself and keep it.
If this is the only thing you do for yourself between now and then, you will be well on your way to a healthier new year. Keep your fitness as a lifestyle choice that you commit to daily. The reward of a better you will be the best gift you can get.
Let me know how you do!
September is finally here, and I have my house back again…It's time for back to school. While that gives many of us loads of new challenges, schedules and stress, for those going away to school it could also mean loads of extra weight
The freshman fifteen is no myth. And it isn't only reserved to first year college students. We have all seen it, but it doesn’t have to be that way. So this year, let’s make a collective back to school resolution that will bring us into the holidays healthier and happier. So whether you are headed off to school, or missing someone who did, you can try these three simple things to maintain your summer fitness throughout the fall and winter.
Rule #1 - Avoid eating white food, specifically white and processed. Exceptions are cauliflower and almond milk. This means no refined sugar. No white bread. It’s very simple. We can all do it.
Rule #2 - Do not bat clean up. When your kids still have food on their plates, throw it away. You should have already eaten your meal. Imagine if you took just a month and added up all those tiny bites you took in the kitchen while cleaning up. That's a lot of extra food that serves no real purpose toward your ultimate health goals. So don’t do it. If you are at college, this applies in the same way. Just because there is leftover pizza around doesn’t mean you have to eat it. By maintaining good nutrition, you also maintain your ability to process information effectively. You are learning many new things and you need to be at your peak. Eating garbage at 2 a.m. is not going to get it done.
Rule #3 - Pay attention to those coffeehouse drinks. You may be getting much more than a boost of caffeine. I have watched adults, teenagers and now even middle-schoolers making their morning beverage purchase with the hopes of increasing their energy only to have the complete opposite and a much more detrimental effect. Drinks ranging from Iced Blended Frappuccinos to hot chocolates with whip have people consuming approximately 500 calories, up to 18g of Fat, and Carbs that come primarily from sugar. I can’t think of anything better designed for lethargy and weight gain than these so called "pick-me-up" drinks.
Your best choices are unsweetened or very lightly sweetened drinks. Iced teas without syrup, regular coffee, or if you must have a blended drink, the light varieties will at least save hundreds of calories.
I challenge all of you and your kids to take on these three simple rules for the next few months. By doing so, the freshman fifteen shouldn’t be an issue - for the kids or the parents.
Having a fit lifestyle starts at the dinner table, and unfortunately that is often the first thing that slips in times of stress. School can be stressful for parents and kids alike. Take the time to refocus on being good to yourself with a clean healthy diet. Your energy and sense of well-being will increase and lead to a remarkably productive and beneficial time for everyone.
It’s that time of year again. You are either reestablishing old workout habits or starting up some new ones. Congratulations, that is terrific! Either way, it may have been a while since you have been to the gym. Here are some fitness etiquette rules that will help this be a positive experience for all.
If you really want to be healthy, have a fit body, tons of energy and glowing skin the answer is actually quite simple. But you can't buy it in a bottle, eliminate one food group or drink only juice for weeks. You need to change your lifestyle. Sound overwhelming? It doesn't have to be. Start by implementing the following changes into your life:
Not convinced and think you should do a quick detox? In most cases the ideas behind the detox are fine. They usually involve consuming less sugar and increasing your intake of greens, which is great. The issue is that these should be permeant livable changes that become a part of how you eat every day, not for a week or by only consuming certain beverages. And its important to understand the truth behind the idea of detoxing. This will help you to make informed decisions when you come across the latest and greatest health product. Here is an excerpt from an article about detoxing and the many other ways people get lured into the fitness marketing hype. Take a read and let me know what you think.
There’s no such thing as ‘detoxing’. In medical terms, it’s a nonsense. Diet and exercise is the only way to get healthy.
Whether it’s cucumbers splashing into water or models sitting smugly next to a pile of vegetables, it’s tough not to be sucked in by the detox industry. The idea that you can wash away your calorific sins is the perfect antidote to our fast-food lifestyles and alcohol-lubricated social lives. But before you dust off that juicer or take the first tentative steps towards a colonic irrigation clinic, there’s something you should know: detoxing – the idea that you can flush your system of impurities and leave your organs squeaky clean and raring to go – is a scam. It’s a pseudo-medical concept designed to sell you things.
“Let’s be clear,” says Edzard Ernst, emeritus professor of complementary medicine at Exeter University, “there are two types of detox: one is respectable and the other isn’t.” The respectable one, he says, is the medical treatment of people with life-threatening drug addictions. “The other is the word being hijacked by entrepreneurs, quacks and charlatans to sell a bogus treatment that allegedly detoxifies your body of toxins you’re supposed to have accumulated.”
If toxins did build up in a way your body couldn’t excrete, he says, you’d likely be dead or in need of serious medical intervention. “The healthy body has kidneys, a liver, skin, even lungs that are detoxifying as we speak,” he says. “There is no known way – certainly not through detox treatments – to make something that works perfectly well in a healthy body work better.”
Yet, inexplicably, the shelves of health food stores are still packed with products bearing the word “detox” – it’s the marketing equivalent of drawing go-faster stripes on your car. You can buy detoxifying tablets, tinctures, tea bags, face masks, bath salts, hair brushes, shampoos, body gels and even hair straighteners. Yoga, luxury retreats, and massages will also all erroneously promise to detoxify. You can go on a seven-day detox diet and you’ll probably lose weight, but that’s nothing to do with toxins, it’s because you would have starved yourself for a week.
To read the full article click here
After completing a round of figure competitions, I wanted see what I could do to my workout routine to take it up a notch without creating stress on my body and focus more specifically on glutes and lower abdominals. I decided barre workouts would be a great addition. The only concern I had is that past barre classes I had taken I found to be a bit stiff and lackluster for my Type A personality. Then I came across FlyBarre. The classes had great music and a more athletic approach with a focus to develop long lean muscles. It suited me perfectly. So I trained to teach it and, have to say, I absolutely love the classes and the results. I recently came across this article (By Ariana Marini, Special to Everyday Health) that I thought I would share with anyone considering taking a barre classes. Just a few tips to get you going and make you feel that much more comfortable as you start out.
If you follow fitness trends, you’ve probably heard about barre, a ballet-inspired workout that sculpts your muscles (even if you’re far from a ballerina). The workout focuses on very small, isometric movements combined with stretches to lengthen muscles. During a barre class, you’ll often be switching from moves done at the barre to Pilates exercises, and sometimes to yoga poses.
If you try it, you’ll have a newfound respect for ballerinas everywhere — it’s tough. I went into my very first class knowing very little about barre other than that it’s a hot trend in fitness right now. Here are six things I wish I knew before walking into my first barre class:
Think small. In barre, you have to focus on very small movements. Your instructor may ask you to move just an inch. Small movements and isometric movements allow you to directly target the muscle and area that you are toning. If you’re more used to intense cardio, you may feel compelled to make bigger movements during barre exercises, but try to resist. No unnecessary movement or large range of motion is needed and, in fact, is often why other forms of exercise cause injuries. Try to get in the mindset to “think small” before you enter the studio; you’ll be surprised at how much of a workout you’ll get from moving just an inch.
You’ll be confused in the beginning. Don’t expect to know all of the moves right away. During your first few classes, you’ll probably have trouble keeping up. It depends on the person and their background, but after three classes, most of the movements that may feel strange at first start to really click and make sense. Barre can be so fast-paced that the second you think you’ve finally mastered a pose, it’s time to switch to a new one. Don’t get discouraged. (But do expect to feel sore for a few days.)
Shaking is good. Halfway through the class, I found my legs shaking uncontrollably. Perhaps my embarrassment was written all over my face, because my instructor assured me that shaking was a good sign. “We joke ‘embrace the shake’ – but we also mean it as the shake is a sign that you have correctly targeted the leg muscles we are working, and you are working hard. You have fatigued the large muscle group to the point that they start to shake.
Ask questions. Arrive to your first class early. Introduce yourself to the staff and let your instructor know you’re new to barre. After class, if you have a question about a particular move or want to know how to adjust it, stick around and ask your instructor. While the first class will be challenging and there will be unfamiliar terminology and movements, if you stick with it, the results will be fast.
Dress appropriately. Make sure to wear leggings or yoga pants and a tight tank top. This will keep heat from escaping your body, allowing you to sweat more — and it’ll help you and your instructor see your form. You won’t be wearing shoes in the studio, so you may go barefoot or with socks. Some barre studios sell socks with special grips on the soles that help your balance, create traction, and promote circulation throughout your workout. (Many studios will also allow you to wear regular socks — though most discourage it because it’s so easy to slip — while others allow you to take class in bare feet. Be sure to check your studio’s policy ahead of time so you arrive prepared.)
You can practice barre at home. Various studios use slightly different styles of barre, but remember that you can also practice at home. While not all the moves can be done without a ballet barre, you can try using a countertop, tall table, or chair instead. Look for instructional barre workout DVDs to purchase, and work out on your own time.
Interested? Look for a FlyBarre studio near you.
With all of the advice out there, it is easy to become overwhelmed. I've seen it many times. We plan ourselves right out of getting started by getting caught up in all of the details. The combination of conflicting and often complicated information can leave us feeling paralyzed. Not sure if we should be doing interval training vs long cardio, eating proteins before our workout or after? Should we be enjoying our cup of coffee or kicking the habit?
It doesn't have to be this difficult. By beginning with some basic fitness and nutrition changes you can achieve success while enjoying the process and your life.
Here are 10 ways to get you going.
If your goals are improved fitness and/or fat loss you need to consider two things: what you are putting in your mouth, and how often you are moving your body. Below are 5 uncomplicated fitness and 5 easy nutrition changes you can make that will produce real result and have you you on your way to achieving your goals.
1. Include cardio for at least 30 minutes 3-4 times a week. Choose an activity that you can commit to and will enjoy. Options include things like going for a walk or a hike, stationary cardio equipment, bike ride outdoors or take a spin class. Just get that body moving consistently and start burning some calories.
2. Strength training is important. It is vital for bone density, helps to maintain muscle mass and keeps your metabolism burning at a higher rate even when your are not working out. It is also one of the fastest ways to produce visible changes in your body. There are many ways to do this such as traditional weight lifting, both machine and free weights, or incorporating kettle balls and bands. You can also use your own body resistance with push ups, sit ups or by taking a barre or calisthenics class. Again choose something you like and will stick with 3 times a week. It can be done it on different days or on the same day you do your cardio. Try to get in at least 20 min of strength training at each session.
3. Mix it up. Once you have your workout in gear and are getting in a routine, consider trying something new to challenge your body and your mind. Take that class you have been considering, get out of the gym and go on a hike. You may be surprised by the new activities you enjoy. Cross training not only keeps your muscles challenged it will help prevent repetitive use injuries.
4. Stretch - after your workout take 5-7 min to stretch out your muscles and cool down.
5. Pick a goal. Often having something to work towards can make the process more fun. You can choose a reward based goal or an event. Ideas include treating yourself when you achieve a weight loss goal or consistency goal or participating in an event such as a 5 or 10k fun run.
1. Get a sense of how many calories you are eating. Log what you put in your mouth both food and drink, for just one week . This will give you a good idea if you are consuming too many calories. To determine calories in food you can use online programs like calorieking.com or caloriescount.com
2. Use the 80 /20 rule. Strive to eat healthy 80% of the time. Nobody is perfect and life is unpredictable. Besides, by eating healthy 80% of the time your body will naturally start to find those “cheat “ meals less and less appealing.
3. Eat less processed food and more clean food. This is the easiest change. Think of eating foods in their natural states and stay away from ingredients you can’t pronounce or don't recognize.
4. Overall, cut back on the sugar and increase your lean proteins and vegetables. Read labels and understand what you are putting in your mouth.
5 .Are you hungry or thirsty? Often we eat when our body is actually thirsty. Drink at least 8 8-oz glasses of water daily. Your body will feel fuller and your are less likely to overindulge.
To make real lasting changes it is important to make the experience of changing to a healthy lifestyle, fun. If it is perceived as torture or something that will be over soon once you lose the weight or hit a goal you will eventually end back up where you began or often in worse shape. Educate yourself as you go, forgive yourself when you do (and you will) make a less than perfect choices and do it for you! You're worth it!
This blog was created to provide information as it relates to skin, body and food health.