Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Why Buffets Are So Hard!

Oh, the dreaded or highly anticipated BUFFET. So many nutrition options. So many nutrition downfalls. Notice I said 'nutrition' and not 'diet'. I'm trying to eliminate the word 'diet' from my vocabulary because it is a negative word, means 'die it' to me.

I was at a weekend retreat where the food was provided. I knew this in advance, so I packed a few snacks, JUST IN CASE. Not big ones, just a couple of bags of red grapes, a small protein bar, a small protein powder that I had been wanting to try. Just in case.

The easiest part of the buffet is the availability and variety of foods. The hardest part of the buffet is the availability and variety of foods. You start to fill your plate and you are only halfway through the line and options. By the end of the line, your plate is full and IF you took time out to count calories or even nutritional breakdown of the food you are about to consume, most people would be shocked. Then there's the salad buffet, the drink buffet and of course, not to be overlooked, the dessert buffet. Neverending food, neverending calories, just neverending.

Good news - you will most likely not leave hungry. Bad news - is it the right kind of food you need? If you are in 'weight loss' mode and are trying to eat healthy, a buffet can be the start of a decline and can put you in a bad place, physically and emotionally. Physically because you overeat OR don't eat in the right portions and it does affect your metabolism and yes women, it does affect your hormones. Emotionally because you feel like you've failed once again at sticking to a 'diet'. Also physically because you are bloated.

So what can you do? Here's some tips -
• First, don't worry what others are eating. Eat for yourself. Eat only what you know is what your body needs.
• Read the menu of options or look over the buffet before starting to fill your plate. Know what would be a good source of protein, what would be a good source of carbs and what would be a good source of fat. And then start to fill your plate with those things.
• Avoid - anything fried, anything swimming in butter, white breads, butter, colas, sweets.
• Take 1/2 portion than you think you need, trust me on this one. By the time you are at the end of the buffet, you will already have a full plate because the food is THERE and you want to TRY a little bit of some stuff, so take 1/2. The spoons on buffets are typically too BIG anyway, take 1/2.
• Fill 1/4 to 1/2 of your plate with salad and top with veggies. If there is a salad bar, there are veggies. Use olive oil and vinegar or a vineagrette dressing.
• Don't worry about what others are saying about what you are eating. When did it become OK for people to CRITICIZE someone who is trying to eat healthy? Would it be okay for a fit person to CRITICIZE someone who is eating unhealthy? Um, no, that would be mean. Huge double standard here. Just BE STRONG and if someone just has to comment, know that it is THEIR issue, not YOURS.
• When you are done, push the plate aside and that's it, you're done. No going back for seconds or thirds. ENJOY the conversation of those around you. ENJOY the good food that you just choose for yourself and enjoyed by yourself.
• Can you ever have a sweet? Sure, once in a while, but not every time. If you do, again, take 1/2 of what you think you need.

Leave the table feeling nourished, but not overfed. Count how many times the people around you loosen their belts, say "I shouldn't have eaten that", say "I feel bloated" and continue onto the next buffet. Then forget about it. It's not all about the food. It's about YOU making healthy choices. Is eating healthy at a buffet going to kill you?? NO, but is eating healthy at a buffet going to save your life. I say YES. And it can be done. So do it.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Sometimes you just have to let him go...

I spoke to a women's group last night about the frustrations of weight loss. It was a great group of women and it was fun to share with them my top 10 list of tips, based on my experience. Prior to speaking, I had them write down a question they wanted to ask me about weightloss, something they had seen, something they face in their life, etc. Then I answered these questions. A couple of them were honest enough to ask questions about the lack of support at home and how to handle it. I see this all the time. And I've also been through it.

Lack of support at home can be devastating. You have a spouse who SAYS they support you, who wants you to lose weight, maybe even berates you about your weight. But then you start the journey and the one who is supposed to help you and support you the most becomes your biggest detractor. Is it done on purpose? You lose your focus. You start blaming. And this is where some people get stuck.

You've got to just let him GO. If there's one thing I've learned in almost 18 years of marriage, it's that you cannot change a man. You've got to just let him GO. You have got to be so focused, so determined, so mad at your weight problem, that you just let him go on his way and you go yours. YOU do what is right for your body. YOU make the changes you need to. YOU eat right, even when he doesn't. YOU workout, even if he won't do it with you. So many women wait for the right time, they wait for the right support, they falter when he brings home the bad food. And why do they always bring you home the bad food anyway? Duh. I won't go into the mentality of men, jeez, but the point is - JUST LET HIM GO.

Stop using HIM as an excuse for not getting it done. Stop using your kids as an excuse for not getting it done. Just shut up and do it. Use your health journal, do your workouts, EAT CLEAN. And this is important - TAKE THE FOCUS OFF OF HIM AND PUT THE FOCUS ON YOU. Does this mean completely ignoring him? No, not at all, that's not what I'm talking about. But it does mean that you hear the comments and you just let them go. You see the bad food, but you move on, you eat your healthy food and you let it go. You workout and you don't wait for him to tell you "nice job", you TELL YOURSELF that and you let it go.

Don't wait for his approval, make your own. Don't wait for him to EAT healthy like you want him to, do it yourself. YOU BE THE EXAMPLE. YOU BE THE ONE TO MAKE CHANGES. Don't wait on him. Sometimes you just have to let him go...

Weight loss is an emotional battle, but you are strong. Women are strong. And I know you can do it. Just let him go, now you do what you need to do.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

I Need a Kick in the ....

It's a beautiful day, it's been a beautiful day. And I'm not getting anything done.

Was it my Monday off or listening to too much Rick Springfield? I just can't get it done. I am working out. I am eating clean. I am meeting with clients. I am pushing, pushing, pushing. Motivating and educating. Teaching and learning. But I'm not getting it done.

By "it", I mean my "list". I always have a list going. My poor husband. All he wants to know is if he is on the "list"... but I am not getting my list done. I am THIS close to announcing three MAJOR projects for SWTI, but I am not getting it finished. I am close, but not finished. Is it the weather? I went swimming today at lunch just to see if I could get motivated by that. I ran out of swimear so used hydrogen peroxide instead - ouch - I felt like I was in a fog all afternoon, saying "What?" whenever Steve asked me something. I can't blame it on my ears, I was feeling in a fog before I went swimming.

So I need a kick in the ... Anyone willing or able? Why can't I get this done? Why do I get so close and then lose momentum? Am I that scared of succeeding or am I scared of putting myself out there?

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Dance Like You Are 19 - My Date with Rick

Okay, so it wasn't just me and Rick Springfield, but me and 5,000 others and Rick Springfield at the Biltmore Estate in Ashville, North Carolina. Last weekend, my two sisters and I met for our weekend getaway in Ashville. My brilliant sister Laura got tickets for us. We are all 14 months apart and teenagers in the 80's sisters. Rick Springfield and the 80's, good combination. Rick Springfield and the 2000's, even better.

The concert at the Biltmore was right outside the estate, on a mountaintop, beautiful scenery, beautiful weather. The sun set as Loverboy was playing on stage. When Rick came out, my sister Diane and I had already gotten our 81 "Jessie's Girl" blue shirts out in support of our man, RS. My hubby had told me that the crowd would be filled with other 40-year old women, no men and no kids. Well, that was kind of true. It was about 70% 40-year old women, some men who were dragged along and also some kids who were dragged along. Unfortunately, some of the women were from the 80's which was scary at first, but amusing as the night went on. My sisters and I had front row tickets for the 80's freak fashion show. And I am happy to tell you that despite my horse-and-buggy ways and my LOVE of the 80's music and trends, that I do NOT wear boob tubes or short shorts or tease my hair. Ha, I've evolved past that! But unfortunately, some of these ... let's call them ladies, I'll be nice ... have not evolved. They were stuck in the 80's. Tattoos and all. And sleasy talk, agh, I was so glad my daughter wasn't there to hear their potty mouths. But I forgot about them when Rick came out.

The first thing I noticed was his biceps. Rick's been working out! And I'm not just saying that because I'm a trainer, but man, the boy's been working out. He was thin in the 80's, he was buff now! And then later on, he took his shirt off. Again, being the trainer I am, I wondered "I wonder what kind of split workout he is doing?" What a nice display of chest and abs :) Rick came to put on a show. And he put on a show. He was awesome! We knew every word to every song and sang along and screamed and laughed the entire concert. We stayed on our feet the entire time, singing and dancing. It was like I was 19 again, kind of. Do you remember when you were 19? I do, even though it's quite a ways back :)

I remember going to college full-time and working full-time to pay for it. I remember going to concerts on the weekends with friends. I remember staying up late, getting up early, reading the newspaper in bed on weekends at noon. I remember taking off on breaks and just partying and playing, camping, water skiing. I don't remember a lot of stress. I know there must have been some. I was out on my own, had my own apartment. But I don't remember being stressed a lot, I just remember the fun. Fast forward 25 years. This weekend is actually my 25th high school reunion party, which is in Illinois, I can't go :( So, 25 years later, here I am, with my sisters, on top of a mountain watching Rick Springfield in concert. And feeling like I am 19.

Now granted, I didn't let it loose like some of the ... okay let's just call it like it is ... ho's there did that night. I won't even tell you what one of those ... did and said during the "Human Touch" song. Ewww. I may be old fashioned, but please... but I did have fun. I felt free, and happy, and innocent, and untouched. So what happened in 25 years that made me stop dancing? Ummm...marriage, pregnancies, babies, starting a business, running a business, owning a home, running a home, closing a business, school, PTA, etc. I've had a good life, I've had a great life, but somewhere along the way, I lost my ability to dance like I was 19. Don't get me wrong, I have fun. I love my husband. I love my kids. I love my life. But I don't DANCE. I don't dance like I'm 19. I've become too serious. I plan things. I organize things. I worry about things. I stress over things. I've invested so much time and effort into the people and things in my life that I've forgotten to ENJOY it along the way and not worry about what's going to happen. I've made so much progress over the last few years, in my personal and professional life, and now I want to keep it up, but I want to DANCE too. Like I'm 19.

I still feel like I am 19 physically. That's weird. I didn't years ago when I was in my 30's and overweight. I do now. I feel strong, like I can do anything. I have so much energy and life now, physically, I just have to get it through my mind now. So if you see me dancing, and I don't mean literally dancing because this white girl doesn't have a whole lot of rhythm, but smiling and enjoying life, know that I am still listening to my Rick Springfield CD's, I am still taking my responsibilities seriously, but that I am taking time to DANCE and be 19 again! Want to join me?

Thursday, August 6, 2009

IronGirl Interview "Just Shut Up and Do It"

I hope many got to see the NBC presentation of the IronGirl race on Sunday. It was great to see all of the women athletes on the race! I did an interview with Conn Jackson for NBC last week and wanted to share the link with you:


What a motivating group of women!

The "just shup up and do it" part of this blog was for me. A week before the interview, I had my tooth pulled, the one in front :( and the day before the interview, I had orthodontist appointment where they began the process of pulling my teeth together. They used a rope-like device and twisted it in between my teeth. I got back from the ortho and IronGirl called and asked if I would do the interview. Ugh. Why couldn't they call last week when I had a tooth??!!

I was miserable. Back on the liquid diet again, ugh, took 2 days off with no clients just so I could get used to the "missing tooth" and not have to face anyone. It's embarrassing! I'm 42 and I have braces and now a big gap in my teeth. So I told them of course I would do it, then I cried and fussed about it. My husband told me to call ortho and see if they can do a temporary tooth for me. It must look bad if he says that. They needed more than a day, they say. Not an option. My sister told me don't worry, it'll just look like they're interviewing another hick from Georgia. It must look bad if she says that.

I had my cry and then I had to just shut up and do it. Doesn't matter if I don't feel I look 100%, I have an obligation to IronGirl, I want to support IronGirl, I want to educate and motivate women. It's not about my accomplishment, but how I can help others to do the same. It helped me realize that yes, I do want to do this again if they bring it back to Atlanta, and yes, I want to have a SWTI team there to do it with me. Women who never thought they could do something like that. So I just shut up and do it.

I love Nike's logo, I just added my version of it. The long version of it is "Just shut up and do it. Stop complaining. Stop whining. Just buck up, be strong and do it". This is the version I have to use on myself from time to time.

My grateful list...
• Thank God I have teeth and I am healthy. I may look bad for a while, but it will be worth it in the end.
• My friend Stacie, who listened to me cry and fuss, looked at my photo and video, reassured me, and talked some sense into me. She gave me the confidence to just shut up and do the interview.
• Conn Jackson, I call him "Ken doll" [he does, he looks just like a Ken doll!] and the wonderful, inspiring women in the interview.
• My friends and sisters who raced alongside me in the IronGirl. The NBC presentation showed the professionals, who were awesome; and a select number of equally awesome women they spotlighted. There were over 1,000 women who participated and they are all winners in my book!

Is there anyone else that has the insecurities that I do, well maybe not the tooth issues, but if so, I say with respect "just shut up and do it". Whatever you are avoiding or not doing, just do it. Today!