Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Excuses Or Simply not Ready for Change

Excuse or Something Else? 
Everyone knows that person who always has an excuse for everything.  You might be the person giving an excuse.  I use to get so frustrated with people that complained and complained about how they were so miserable with their health, weight or appearance but they never do anything to help themselves. I’ve come to realize it’s not the excuse holding them back.  Instead they just aren’t ready.  Sadly some people never become ready to make changes.  Instead this person will live a long life of illness, metabolic diseases and suffer with ailments until the end. 

What makes a person ready to make a change?  There is a theory called the Transtherotical Model (Stages of Change).  Everyone uses it at some point in their life but might not be aware.  What is the Transtheortical Model?  It’s the processes we go through to begin making behavioral changes.  Behavioral changes like smoking cessation, starting an exercise program or eating healthy.  There are more behavior changes but these are a few. 

There are six stages of the Transtherotical Model:

1.       Precontemplation (Not Ready)- People in this stage don’t have any intention to make changes now or in the future.  Reasons may be because they simply don’t know they need a change.  The person  might have tried many times before, failed and are afraid to fail again.   

2.       Contemplation (Getting Ready) – These are people who intend to make a change within the next six months.  They are aware of the pros and cons of making a change but they are motivated.  Sometimes people become stuck in this stage due to fear, lack of support or money. 

3.       Preparation (Ready)- This stage is typically when changes will occur within the next month.  Actions have been taken to begin, they joined a gym, purchased a self-help book, or find a wellness coach or a trainer. 

4.       Action- These are the people that are working on their goals.  They are going to the gym or exercising at home.  They have begun a smoking cessation program.  They are working with a coach to help them lose weight or make positive health changes.  This is about a six month stage to really know it’s going to stick.  

5.       Maintenance stage-  It's been six months or more and still going strong with their behavioral changes.  The change is now a positive habit and they have more confidence (self-efficacy) in themselves and believe they won’t go back to the negative habits. 

6.       Termination Stage-  YES CHANGED FOR GOOD!!!!  This is the stage where people can fight past depression, anxiety, boredom, lonely and anxiousness without relapsing back to bad behaviors.  They now have alternative methods to cope with these issues. 

Where are you or someone you know in the Transtheoritical Model?  Don’t get annoyed with the excuses because it may not be their/your time.   Be positive with people that aren’t ready for change.  One day it might happen and then again it might not.  However, you cannot push them into something they just aren’t ready to do.  I cannot drag clients across the finish line and I’ve learned that over the years.  They may regress and it’s not my fault.  Learn to let it go and understand they might come back one day. 

I encourage you to think about a behavior you want to change and what stage you might currently be in the Stages of Change.  

Monday, August 10, 2015

Why Avoiding Food is Making You Fat

Many people believe if they restrict daily calorie intake to a ridiculously low amount they will lose weight or fat.  This is a common misconception so don’t fall victim to this myth.  During the beginning of weight loss our body is typically eliminating water and unfortunately breaking down muscle.    Unfortunately people believe if they cut calories excessively they will lose weight; sadly this is untrue.  Instead the body becomes a fat storing machine.  Why?  I’ve talked about this many times but it is our natural safety mechanism.  Extreme calorie restriction often known as Anorexia Nervosa causes major health problems and bone density is decreased.  An overweight person has an increased risk of bone density decreasing.  This decreased bone density increases the risk of stress fractures or complete fractures in bones.  Excessive weight loss decreases muscle mass.  Muscle is very important to our body because muscles help us move.  Bones are the foundation of the body but the muscles attached to the bones are what helps us move.  As we begin to age, as early as our twenties we begin to lose a small percentage of muscle mass each year.  This percentage of muscle mass is increased for sedentary people or excessive calorie cutters with poor diets.  Think about your grandparents or great parents; were they physically active throughout their senior lives?  Were your grandparents frail and unable to walk without shuffling or struggle to do daily tasks?  It’s important that we maintain our independence as long as possible. 
How to start the path of eating healthy and exercising daily? It must start with you.   It can’t be a doctor using scare tactics or family members teasing.  The want to change must happen within or it won’t happen.   Are you ready to make a commitment to change?  Why do you want to make a change?  Are you doing this for yourself or someone else? 

Here is a thought, what if instead of focusing on calories we focused on servings of fruits, vegetables, lean proteins and good fats.  In addition to focusing on fats, vegetables, fruits, lean proteins include food timing, and emotions.    When you sit down to eat write down how you feel.  Are you sad, angry, tired, nervous or happy?  How much water have you drank?  Did you exercise?  Exercise will increase the need for more foods to be consumed to help repair the body and promote good immunity.  When the body becomes worn down from lack of sleep or hard workouts the risk of colds and illnesses increases.  Does counting calories drive you crazy?  Losing weight is as simple as being aware of the foods we put into our mouth.  If you eat lunch and dinner out every evening that’s a poor eating habit.  Think of how much weight you could lose if you cooked meals at home.  Eating breakfast every morning can decrease the chances of excessive eating at lunch.  Adding a snack around 2:30 -3:00 can also decrease the likelihood of overeating at dinner.   These are simple tasks that will go a long way when trying to reach a weight loss or health goal.  Don’t drive yourself crazy counting calories; if you eat wholesome foods such as fruits, vegetables, nuts, Greek yogurts, and lean proteins you will lose weight. Try to set a goal to eliminate the amount of foods you eat from packages.   Here are some goals that might help. 

Set Goals:

1.       I will eat 2 servings of fruits and 6 -8 servings of vegetables a day. (TRACK IT)
2.       I will take my lunch to work every day.
3.       I will set a timer for every 2.5-3 hours to eat very small meals/snacks
4.       I will eliminate pops or bad beverages; mochas, Frappuccino’s etc. 
5.       I will eat a protein, fat and carbohydrate at each meal.
6.       I will eat breakfast each morning.

Big Goal:

1.       I will lose one pound per week by eating a nutritious diet that consists of proteins, carbs and fats at each meal.  I will resistance train two days per week and complete 30 minutes of cardiorespiratory exercises for the first two weeks.  After two weeks I will increase my duration or intensity by 10 percent. 

SMART goals

Action oriented
Time (deadline)

These are small goals that can be easily achieved.   Focus on one goal each week instead of trying to do everything at once.  Set SMART goals and mark your calendar!  You can do it!!  For one on one coaching contact me.