Strengthen Your Core With The Lateral Slide

Aloha from the big island of Hawaii!

My awesome hubby is home taking care of the pups while I spend some quality time here with my girlfriends. Moving twice in six months was quite a bit of work so he encouraged me to take some time off for a little rest and relaxation. The beach is a perfect place for that!

I promise he won’t be left out. We are planning a trip for the two of us in the near future. 🙂

If you’ve been following me for any length of time, you may have noticed that I never allow the pressures of society to determine whether or not I put on a bathing suit. I recommend that you don’t either. However, I do believe that it’s normal to want to tone the body you’ve been blessed with before you hit the beach. The exercise I share in this video is great way to do that.

First and foremost, this move is a great core stability exercise that can help you maintain good posture and a healthy back. However, it also targets some areas of your body that tend to be exposed more often in the warmer months. There is no such thing as spot reducing, but you can certainly target muscle groups.

Enjoy the video and please remember, the only thing you have to do to get “beach ready” is put on your suit. No exercises are ever required. The best beach body is the one you already rock. 🙂

Have a great week!

P.S. This exercise is not intended to be a substitute for anything a medial professional has prescribed you. It is recommended that you consult a physician prior to starting a new exercise routine. 🙂

Should You Weigh Yourself? Or Ditch The Scale For Good?

Should you weigh yourself? Or ditch the scale for good?

Scales are an interesting object.  They have no heart beat but can have a tremendous amount of power over people.  These intimidating devices can cause so much anxiety that Facebook will not even approve ads that include pictures of scales due to “the negative feelings that the image can cause.”  Scales rarely tell the whole story and can send you on an unnecessary roller coaster of emotions.

There was a time when I was obsessed with my weight and weighed myself daily.  I was really thin, however I wasn’t very healthy mentally or physically. My philosophy was the lower the number and the smaller the pants size, the better.  I’ll be the first to admit that my quest had very little to do with my health and a lot more to do with caring about what others thought about my body.

Fast forward to now and I rarely weigh myself these days.  I no longer measure my self worth based on a number on a scale.  I’ve learned to look at a scale as a tool that provides information.  It has lost it’s power over me.

Hopefully, the scale is not something you struggle with. But if you are someone who does and are tired of it, you may be wondering how I have become so comfortable weighing myself. Let me share some secrets with you.

Ditch the daily weigh ins. I have nothing against weighing yourself periodically, but this day and night weighing in can drive you insane.  Weight fluctuates for many reasons. If you are someone who looks at those numbers as simply data and do not get emotional about it, I see no issue with weighing yourself regularly.   Even if the scale has no emotional power over you I still recommend limiting your weigh ins to once per week, or even monthly, and would totally avoid Mondays.

However, if you get all worked up or even depressed, then I suggest you toss your scale into the recycle bin or whatever is the best way to dispose of one these days.  We haven’t owned a scale for years.

Your weight is very personal.   Most people have a natural set point or weight that our body feels comfortable.  Your natural set point is usually a weight that you are able to sustain long-term without feeling deprived or compromising your health.  There are no two bodies that are the same so your set point is going to be very personal.  Avoid focusing on only numbers and pay attention to things like: how your clothes fit, the results of your most recent physical, your energy levels, and your ability to function on a daily basis.

Embrace your body type.   It’s way more peaceful and fun to be satisfied with a weight you can realistically maintain than suffer the emotional roller coaster that is attached to chronic dieting and constantly weighing yourself.  Avoid comparing yourself to others. Some are long and lanky, some are curvy. Some build bulk and some do not. I am not suggesting you accept being unhealthy or uncomfortable. My desire for you is that you achieve your personal best–not what the media tells you is best for you.

My weight would be considered heavy or overweight by many of the decision makers in Hollywood. But walking down the street, I am considered slender. Once I stopped comparing myself to the models in the magazines and focused on self care, I stopped obsessing about my weight.

Remember–there is only one you! You are uniquely designed.  Don’t let anyone set your goals for you—not the media, the medical community, your friends, or your family! When you are living your own life, you can achieve anything!

Blessings to you and yours,
Jennifer

 

Why And How To Avoid Tempting Fad Diets

 

How to avoid fad diets

It’s January, it’s a new year, and almost every magazine or health related email you open this month will have advice on what you should and shouldn’t be eating.

It can be really tempting to try the latest fad diet that the fitness and/or diet industry is promoting.  It’s a normal human response to be intrigued by all the marketing that these industries roll out in January… especially if you’ve gained a few pounds over the holidays.

While I completely understand the desire to want to lose weight quickly, research continues to  show us that restrictive dieting is not very effective long term and can potentially do you more harm than good.

Some of the reasons diets fail you are:

  • They slow down your metabolism
  • They cause you to store fat, not burn it
  • They’re unsustainable for most people’s lifestyle
  • They are a means to manipulate bodies to become a size they were never designed to be
  • When you stop starving yourself and go back to normal calorie-consumption, you WILL gain weight
  • Lack of energy due to being hungry
  • Some diets ask you to eliminate entire food groups and key nutrients
  • They can cause binge eating due to a scarcity mentality
  • They can cause stress which is known to cause belly fat due to hormonal changes in the body

There is nothing wrong with wanting to lose unwanted weight.  I recently lost a few pounds after recovering from a broken foot.  What’s important to remember is that long term, sustainable, weight loss happens when you focus more on health and less on the size of your jeans.

Healthy weight loss is not about counting calories just to reach a number on a scale.  It’s about feeling good, having plenty of energy, feeding your brain properly, creating balance in your life, being happy,  and allowing your body to settle into it’s own natural and healthy weight.   Things like eating the appropriate amount of food, cutting back on the foods and or liquids that you know are excessive,  avoiding overly processed foods, and meal planning are all considered healthy eating, not starvation diets or skipping meals entirely.

HERE ARE Seven TIPS THAT WILL HELP YOU LOSE WEIGHT WITHOUT DIETING

1) Eat enough food.  It absolutely amazes me that there are still diets out on the market today that recommend dangerously low calorie meal plans when the science says otherwise.  Your body will get really good at storing what it doesn’t get enough of.  For example, if you eliminate fat from your diet, your body will not want to burn fat. It will want to store fat.  Sound nutritional research tells us that you need to eat fat in order to burn fat.  I am a firm believer that the low fat and low carb craze has contributed heavily to the weight issues in the United States.

Instead of restricting what you eat, you’ll find more success when you focus on a balanced diet that is centered around whole foods.   A balanced diet includes carbohydrates, proteins, fruits & vegetables, healthy fats, and water.  Any diet that cuts one of these important nutrients out should be avoided.

2) Exercise.  One of the most effective ways to lose weight for good is a combination of eating well AND regular exercise.  However, there are many other reasons we should all be exercising regularly besides a desire to lose weight.  Research shows that exercise can help with depression, lower the risk for heart disease and cancer, reduce the risk of diabetes, and even grow new brain cells.  Exercise is an excellent anti-aging tool!

3) Eat in.    Cook at home as often as you can and bring your lunch.  When I make our food, I get to choose how much butter, oil, salt, and sugar I add.  Sometimes I add more than the recipe calls for and sometimes I cut it back.  I can also make substitutions that I think are healthier for us like swapping out more refined grains for whole grains, adding more veggies, and choosing oils that I believe are better than others.

4) Cut back on liquid calories. Try substituting alcohol, sodas, and other higher calorie drinks with water. Try adding lemon or cucumber for some variation.

If cutting out liquid calories sounds extreme, take a more moderate approach and cut down to half or even a quarter of what you usually drink. You can always go back to your normal consumption if you want to.  This is about figuring out what works for you personally.

5) Get plenty of rest.  Substantial medical evidence is telling us that a lack of sleep affects hormones which are linked to an increase in appetite. Your body becomes less satisfied and you are tempted to eat more food than you may actually need.  Sleep deprivation can also affect your hormones in such a way that your metabolism will literally slow down.  The National Sleep Foundation recommends 7 to 9 hours of sleep per night.

6) Tell guilt to take a hike.  First off, guilt should never be associated with food ever.  When I go into a restaurant I order what I want and I do not feel guilty about my choices.  Guilty thoughts that attempt to beat us up usually come from a desire to be perfect.  And, even though most of us know that perfection is impossible, much of the”professional” advertising we see focuses on displaying perfection as a form of happiness or acceptance.  Thank goodness for social media!  Live raw video helps to remind us that nobody is perfect and to give ourselves a break.

7)  Be yourself.  It’s really important that you know what’s most important to you.  Not everyone wants to be or was designed to look like the models on the cover of fitness magazines.  If challenging yourself to reach an elite athlete status is fun for you and you can achieve it in a healthy way, then by all means go for it!  However, if you know in your heart you’d just like to live a long healthy life, fit in your clothes, and have the stamina to do the activities you enjoy without a whole lot of restrictions in your life, then general health and fitness is for you so please don’t beat yourself up because you’re not “doing whatever it takes” to try to look like a fitness model.  Perfection is overrated and impossible to achieve.  Even fitness models don’t look like their photos all of the time.

Instead of dieting, I recommend you pick as many things from above that you can realistically implement without stressing yourself out and then stay consistent.  Diet and exercise are very personal which is why a canned approach rarely works.  We all have different lives, different goals, and different needs. 🙂

Here’s to a happy and healthy 2018!

Shared with love,

Jennifer