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Tag Archives: balance

Be Your Own Best Friend

Posted on September 22, 2014 by

we believeWhile it is true that a lot of people want to lose weight for health reasons, it is also true that people want to lose weight to look good. How we look on the outside greatly affects how we feel about ourselves inside. People who are at a healthy weight receive compliments from family and friends, and this improves their self-esteem in one way or another.

In contrast, overweight people are often criticized for being heavy or excluded from activities and this usually has a negative impact on their self esteem.  It may also lead to depression.  Hearing hurtful words like, “you are ugly”, or “we don’t have your size”, could pull your self-esteem to the ground. Experts point out that people with low self-esteem tend to eat more. Using this as a defense mechanism and they may not have the will power needed to exercise to help lose the extra weight. This means, if you are serious about shedding the excess weight, you should start conditioning your mind first.  Here are 6 positive actions you can start right now:

  • Convert negative thoughts to positive ones. Negativity prevents you from achieving your goals. A good dose of positive thought will increase your drive to lose weight and be physically fit. Instead of saying, “I can’t do it”, say, “I can do it”. Instead of saying “I do not have time for workouts”, say “I WILL find time to workout”.
  • Forgive yourself. Focus on progress instead of perfection. Losing weight and maintaining it is a gradual process.
  • Don’t blame your genes. Though your genetic makeup may play a part in your body shape and tendencies to gain weight, it is still YOU who makes the decisions on what to eat and how much you workout.
  • Keep track of your progress to help get you motivated. Keep a journal or a scrapbook where you post your weight losses and your feelings on your progress. It will act as an additional motivator in your weight loss journey.
  • Seek out positive people who have the type of lifestyle habits you are looking for.  They  provide inspiration and will have a great influence on your behavior. Receiving compliments from them can greatly boost your self-image. We all love recognition for our efforts and this adds to our motivation.
  • Be Happy. Your choice to be happy, healthy & positive is reflection of your love of yourself!

 

It’s All in Your Attitude!

Posted on September 15, 2014 by

your choice“I can’t exercise, I’m too _____________________”.  You fill in the blank.  Trust me, I’ve heard every excuse there is.  Yes, there are a few reasons that may get you an exercise pass but even then, there are usually a few things that you can do to get in some type of workout.

The most common excuse I hear is, ”I don’t have enough time”.   Oddly enough, the busiest people I know make it a priority and put it on their schedule.  Successful people will find the time.  Take a 10 minute walk during your lunch break or set your alarm 30 minutes earlier a few days a week.

“I’m too tired”.  What time of day do you feel your best?  It’s easier to get moving if you plan your workouts for the time of day that suits your energy levels.  Many find that a morning routine gives them the momentum to get through the day while others use their workout to unwind and distress   after a long day on the job.  Do what works best for you but you may have to try several timeslots    before you find the right fit.

“I don’t know where to start”.  How about a group fitness class?  Our instructors guide you through  exercises that will work all of your major muscle groups and there is no reading required!  If group  settings aren’t for you, a personal training session may be a good investment.

“I’ve tried this before”.  Yes, maybe you have.  Start again by setting small realistic goals and          remember the reason that you are working out.  Acknowledge your goals and find little ways to       reward yourself for accomplishing them.

Stick to a routine and you will start to notice a difference in the way you feel and maybe even in the way you look.  Do you find that each activity is getting easier?  Maybe you are just getting stronger!

Want to try something fun?  Check out a selection of quick and easy exercises that we have available for you on Doc Weight Loss through YouTube.  Our instructors and trainers have put together some exercises that require little or no equipment and can be done in the time that it takes you to read this article!  Also take a look at the board ‘Weight Loss Fitness’ on our Pinterest page!

Focus on what you CAN do—not on what you CAN’’T!

 

There’s No Time Like Now!

Posted on September 01, 2014 by

waitingIf you have sat down with me or listened to any of the Losing Weight USA webinars, you probably know that I am a big proponent of  exercise, especially resistance training.  During calorie restriction (i.e. a diet/weight loss pan), your body will preferentially breakdown your lean body mass (muscle).  This slows your metabolism.  In order to prevent this from happening, you need to get in adequate protein and use your lean body mass (exercise).  The best exercise for preserving or building muscle mass is resistance training.

We often associate resistance training with being in the gym lifting weights (which is a great way to accomplish this).  But you can easily do resistance training using no actual weights – your own body weight works very well.  Push-ups, pull-ups, crunches, squats and lunges work extremely well as a resistance training workout.  As an added bonus, they can be done with almost no equipment and just about anywhere as well!

Studies have shown tremendous health benefits to resistance training such as:

  • Improves carbohydrate sensitivity
  • Increases testosterone
  • Increases growth hormone
  • Improves lean body mass
  • Increases metabolism (a pound of muscle burns more calories than a pound of fat)

It is never too late to start a resistance training program.  If you need help, just let us know – we can you develop a plan that works (and is fun!).  There’s no time like nowt!

 

Time to ReWork Your Workout Routine?

Posted on August 25, 2014 by

shortcutsWhether you just need to get back into a workout routine or shake up the current one, here are a few ideas to get you there!  The most important thing is not to overthink it.  Just like the nutritional part—start with small  changes.

#1 It’s common sense… The thing with healthy habits is that a lot of it is just common sense.  When you can make a few positive changes, do it. It doesn’t take much thought to know that moving around more burns more calories than sitting all day.

#2 Get out of your comfort zone…  Get used to exercise being a bit uncomfortable.  A good workout challenges you to test your strength or endurance, it may not be   comfortable but it shouldn’t be painful either.

#3 Every little bit counts…  Instead of thinking of exercise as something you have to do,  think of it as something you get to do.  We all have long days and sometimes a one-hour session is more than enough.  When you walk around, every step or healthy food choice helps you to succeed in reaching your goals.

#4 Try something new…  A routine is one thing, a rut is another!  If you’ve been   using the cardio and strength training equipment, try the floor for a change.  Yoga or PiYo could give your workouts a whole new challenge.  If running is your thing, try in Intervals class or add lunges to your workout.  No ideas?  Invest in a few personal training sessions.

#5 Don’t overdo it…  Going for the ‘all or nothing’ after not exercising for awhile can take its toll on your mind as well as your body. To prevent injury and a discouraged feeling, start small and work your way up slowly when you’re ready.

#6 Make it realistic…  Not only should you not overdo it when you first start, but you also don’t want to set goals that you know you can’t meet. Think back to Chapter 1 of your WMU curriculum and focus on your SMART goals!  Make sure that you’re not scheduling more than you can do when you first start a workout routine, and pick a time of day that you know you can stick to as well.

Just remember to take it easy – you can’t overhaul your entire fitness plan in one day.

 

What is Water Weight?

Posted on August 18, 2014 by

start todayOne question people often have during weight loss is concerning “water weight” and how easily this can change and result in changes on the scale as well – especially the ones that go up!  Why is it “so easy” to gain a few pounds?  Most commonly this has to do with retaining water.  Almost all women are well aware that they may “retain fluid” at times during their normal monthly cycle.  This is related to normal hormonal changes of estrogen and progesterone.  But other hormones can also cause significant water  retention…and the biggest culprit is insulin.

Have you ever experienced this?  “I was doing well on my diet plan but then went out to dinner at my favorite restaurant, broke down and had the gooey dessert and gained 5 pounds!”  Obviously a dessert does not weigh 5 pounds, so how is that possible?

Physiologically this is actually fairly simple.  A large carbohydrate/sugar load will stimulate a large release of insulin.  The insulin helps bring blood sugar back down, but it also causes significant sodium retention which in turn causes water retention.  So yes…one gooey dessert can cause you to gain 5 pounds.  You can get rid of those 5 pounds by ratcheting down your carbohydrate intake to bring the insulin levels back down.  It just takes longer – often 7-10 days!  Gooey desserts/sugar is a part of enjoying life for most people.  You just need to be aware of the consequences, minimize them by portion control and then make plans (and stick to them) to get back where you want/need to be.

So what else do you need to know about water?

Water makes up about 60-65% of your body so it’s no wonder that it’s vital for almost every bodily     function.  It transports nutrients, helps deliver oxygen to your cells, aids digestion, helps maintain your body temperature and pH, and is important in energy metabolism.

The average adult loses about 6 ½ cups of water a day through urination and an additional 4 cups through other bodily functions such as bowel movements, perspiration and breathing.

Water is just as essential for weight loss.  Water is a thirst quenching, calorie free nutrient which will  stimulate your metabolism and fill you up.

Water is a natural appetite suppressant.  Your body will often mistake thirst for hunger, so water loading at the first signs of hunger/cravings between meals is a great way to better control eating.

When you are poorly hydrated, less oxygen reaches your muscle tissues and you will feel tired and     sluggish.  This may contribute to muscle/joint aches.

Insufficient water intake also contributes to water retention, bloating, constipation and digestive difficulties.

So fill up your glass or make yourself another pitcher to chill in the fridge – Cheers to your success!  See you soon!

Get our new free report – ‘7 Diet Myths Keeping You From Your Skinny Jeans’!  Click on the image to get yours right away~

 

Doc Weight Loss – Losing Weight Safely While Breastfeeding Your Baby

Posted on August 13, 2014 by

Doc Weight Loss – How I Jump Started My Weight Loss

Posted on August 06, 2014 by

Why Do I Need Vitamins?

Posted on August 04, 2014 by

No matter how well you eat, vitamin supplementation is not only helpful, but recommended for nearly everyone.  We want to help you sort out the key vitamins recommended throughout your weight loss and weight maintenance journey. This is an extensive topic so we will just discuss the ones we feel are most important at this time.  These include Multivitamins, Magnesium-Potassium, B-Complex, Essential Fatty Acids, Calcium and Vitamin D.    It is also important to note that the vitamins you choose should be pharmaceutical grade (meeting the most stringent standards in the industry) and designed for ease of digestion and superior absorption.  Quality does matter when it comes to vitamin supplementation and these are the only type of vitamins we sell at CFWLS.  Besides, why take a vitamin if it doesn’t contain what it is supposed to and/or isn’t properly absorbed?

There is no doubt that vitamins and minerals are essential for life.  Without certain vitamins, deficiency diseases like beriberi (lack of thiamin) or scurvy (lack of Vitamin C) may still prevail.  These diseases, however, are not a concern in western societies (with RDA allowances), nor the reason that CFWLS recommends certain vitamin supplements.

We realize that individuals have unique food likes and dislikes so obtaining the essential vitamins and minerals from foods may not always happen.  Adding multivitamins to your daily regiment is a nice ‘safety net’ to assure you are getting a well-rounded intake of the most important substances your body needs.

Multivitamins:  Everyone should take a good multivitamin.  It is amazing to me how  common vitamin deficiencies are.  Remember that the RDA is the absolute minimum required to prevent deficiency diseases for most people.  The RDA has nothing to do with optimum amounts for best health.  Since the FDA does not oversee over-the-counter vitamins or mineral and herbal supplements, using pharmacy grade vitamins are your best bet on bioavailability of the product in question (and sometimes even if it contains what the label claims).  A typical dose is usually on the bottle – usually 1-2 per day.

B-Complex:  B-vitamins are often referred to as “energy vitamins” since they are important        cofactors for many of your body’s energy producing biochemical equations.  They tend to make these energy producing steps run more efficiently.  Vitamin B-12 is often considered the most important, but all of the B-vitamins are essential to our overall health and well-being.  Activated B-vitamins are already in a form the body can use immediately and therefore –    bioavailability and use is more efficient.  A typical dose is 1-2 tablets per day.

Essential Fatty Acids (EFA’s):  Take them – they’re just good for you.  By taking fish oil         supplements, Omega-3 fatty acids are ingested in their biologically active form.  They can be directly used to support cardiovascular, brain, nervous system, and immune function.  The mini-soft gels are smaller and have a natural lemon flavor to prevent a “fishy” after taste.  Our product is ultra-filtered to guarantee removal of mercury and other possible contaminants.  Most people should take 2- soft gels per day.

Magnesium-Potassium: During weight loss your body tends to waste both  magnesium and potassium.  Both of these minerals are essential to normal muscular and    cardiovascular function.  Magnesium is involved in over 300 biological reactions throughout the body.  It can help prevent/treat fatigue.  If you are prone to muscle cramps – you need to add this supplement.  Typical doses are 1-4 tablets daily with food.

Calcium: We think of calcium as essential for those young growing bones.  However, it is     essential for all stages of life.  Yes, 99% of our calcium intake is dedicated to our bones and teeth but that additional 1% is required for cellular functions.  It helps regulate muscle       contraction and nerve transmission, as well as cellular permeability.  Too little calcium and you set yourself up for osteoporosis, the weakening of your bones, predisposing you to fractures.  But it also may be linked to rising blood pressures. Calcium is absorbed in the small intestines. Not all calcium we consume will be absorbed.  The amount is dependent on acidic condition in your intestines, Vitamin D level, estrogen level and the type of calcium supplement. Make sure that your supplement has the “USP” on the label indicating that the pill meets the US        Pharmacopeia’s standards.

An adequate intake of calcium through the combination of foods and supplements are age    dependent.  Your best food sources are sardines, yogurts, cheeses and milk as well as tofu, salmon, broccoli, turnip and collard greens.  Sesame seeds and almonds are also additional sources.  To maximize your calcium supplement one should take no more than 500mg at a time, accompanied with Vitamin D and taken with meals.

Vitamin D is appropriately called the “Sunshine Vitamin” due to your natural ability to produce it in response to sunlight.  Vitamin D is actually a hormone that your body can manufacture on its own.  However, as you age, your ability to produce it declines as well as your aversion to soak up mid-day sun.  In addition to your need for Vitamin D’s presence to absorb calcium, more and more studies have found the importance of this vitamin for your immune system.  Recent studies have also shown that those people that are overweight or those with diabetes have a higher rate of Vitamin D deficiency.  Most people need to take about 2000 units per day.  Having your Vitamin D levels checked is being more accepted and recommended by health care providers.  You should know your Vitamin D levels.

 

Weight Loss Surgery Success – Bouncing Back from Childhood Obesity

Posted on August 01, 2014 by

The Race Experience

Posted on July 17, 2014 by

A few weeks ago I ran The Chick-fil-a 10K race in Newport News at The Mariner’s Museum.  Every year I come up with the usual excuses not to run it:  too expensive, too busy, not prepared….yet every year I show up and have a great time.  (By the way, I finished 2nd overall female!).  Twenty-eight years ago I decided I wanted to be a runner.  However, sharp pains in my sides and the boredom factor made me realize running was NOT for me.  A year later the stress of college finals became so overwhelming that I re-visited running.  I discovered it was a great stress reliever!  After a few months I was running 2 miles.  I started running local 5K, 10K, and ½ marathon races and frequently won my age group.  Running races became my passion, and I traveled all over the Southeast competing in different races.  In 1991 I qualified for and ran the Boston Marathon.  Since 1990 I’ve shared my enthusiasm for running with anyone who will listen.  Even if you’re a self-proclaimed “couch potato” and aren’t fond of exercise, I challenge you to step out of your comfort zone and experience a race.  If you’re joints are bad, try walking.  It’s not just about the physical benefits.  The mental and emotional benefits are equally rewarding.

I’m an extremely competitive person by nature.  And, honestly, receiving awards is always an honor.  But what I love most about running is that it’s not a team sport.  I set personal goals for each race and strive to meet them.  One of our clients, Frankie Cupp, recently started running races.  She said, “In running my first 10K it was never about how well I would place. It was about the confidence I felt that I was actually doing something that even 6 months ago I would never think I’d be doing.  I found an inner strength in me that drives me to do better.”  In addition to strengthening your heart and lungs, competitive running is definitely a confidence builder.

The Specificity of Training Principal says that sports training should be relevant and appropriate to the sport which the individual is training in order to produce a training effect.  Therefore, if you want to compete in a 5K race, you must get out and run or walk!  Start training gradually and progress to 3 miles a few weeks prior to the race.  Every Sunday I run 8-10 miles.  Meeting my personal goals in the next race motivates me to get out of bed. In addition to training for the next race, it’s my quiet time away from the kids and my time to “commune” with nature and focus on my body.  Scott Haley is a Weight Management University client who is training for a ½ marathon. He said, “It’s a method to set a goal and train to that goal.  I started with 5K’s.  The fear of failure is a great motivator.  You’re not losing because you’re not competing against another person.  You’re competing against yourself.”

Race day is very exciting; adrenalin pumping, nervous energy, watching people of all shapes and sizes preparing for the big event. Some are athletes striving to set state records, some are the “race junkies” that show up for every race event, and some are “newbie’s” just excited by the whole race experience.   Thirty minutes before the start everyone is mulling around, using the port-o-potties, stretching and warming up.  Ten minutes before race time and the announcer tells runners to head for the start line.  The faster runners head to the front of the line.   A special guest sings The National Anthem.  I have my shaky hand on my pounding heart, tears in my eyes, and feel proud to be an American.  Next, the wheelchair racers go and I wonder how many of them were wounded in the Middle East.  The countdown is 1 minute and I’m getting myself mentally prepared. I tell myself, “Don’t fear losing.  Fear quitting.”  3-2-1 and the gun shot goes off.  Spectators are cheering everyone on, music is booming in the distance, and everyone has the same goal:  the finish line. They’re all here for different reasons.  Maybe it’s to win a prize, get points for their running group, raise money for a charity, to set a fitness goal, or to lose weight.  We’re all in this together now.  Along the way, volunteers are handing out water and shouting out motivational words.

Our enthusiastic employee, Tina, is a runner, and perfectly summed up racing. “It’s an experience.  It’s more of a mental thing; mind over matter.  When you don’t believe you can do something and you achieve it.  It’s an amazing feeling.  I love the endorphins! Everyone at the race is happy.  It’s one big joyous, healthy occasion from the camaraderie to the cheering supporters”

The cheering spectators help tremendously with motivation to keep going. The FINISH line appears in the distance and it’s like a “Chariots of Fire” moment.  You can do it!  You can see it! You cross the finish line and feel invincible! Race volunteers hand you water, bananas, and a protein bar. Most importantly, you win a shiny medal to wear proudly around your neck. (I keep all my certificates, medals, plaques, and trophies on my special “running bookcase.”).  Every race is a different and unique experience.  Sometimes they serve pizza, beer (!), offer free massages, give away raffle prizes, or have concerts.

At the awards ceremony, trophies or plaques are handed out to overall and age group winners. Overall winners often get additional gifts such as gift certificates or money.  The truth is everyone who showed up and participated is a winner!  Each person got a medal, race t-shirt (part of the sign up cost), and a bib number.  I write down my times on my bib numbers and keep them for my running scrapbook. Brenda Nickel is a former client at CFWLS who participates in triathlons.  She recounted to me, “Races are a great way to remind me how far I have come and how much further I can go.  They are also a great way to keep me in my pants!”

CFWLS at Color Me Rad 2013

CFWLS at Color Me Rad 2013

To find a local race either visit a running store or just Google races in your area.  There are so many to choose from.  The most fun I’ve ever had in a race was the Color Me Rad 5K.  These “brighten your spirits” races are held throughout the country at various locations.  The staff at  CFWLS has participated for the past two years.  You start the race with a white t-shirt and finish looking like a tie-dyed hippy.  During the event, overly-zealous volunteers pelt you with color bombs of blue, green, pink ,purple, and yellow.  It’s an action-packed, amusing time for the whole family.  It was Cat Keller’s first race.  She said, “I walked the 5K.  I’m not a runner.  I’d rather do hot yoga or lift weights. However, I would do another race.  I felt so good after the race I could have done a 10K.  It’s better to have a friend with you because you’re exercising but you don’t even know it.”

I challenge you to find a race and start training. It doesn’t’ matter what your fitness level is. “Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.”It could become your passion.  If you want more information on how to train for a race, please contact Jim Bradley or Arlyne Spalla Benson at The Center for Weight Loss Success.