The New Year is a great time for a fresh perspective and new start towards what you want to accomplish. My wife and I sit down every year (a great excuse for date night) and map out our personal, family and professional goals for the year. Prior to this “date”, we individually list what we plan to accomplish and then mesh them together (especially the family ones). Afterwards, we make sure to put it all in writing and we each post it so the goals remain top of mind. It is actually very inspiring and a lot of fun to do…and even more exciting as we meet throughout the year to monitor our progress and make sure we are staying on track.
But your 2014 goals won’t magically be met. Goals will only be achieved if you are willing to change your behavior. One of the things that will determine eventual success or failure in making your behavior change is your answer to these two questions:
Can I do it?
Is it worth it?
If you cannot answer “Yes” to both of those questions, your likelihood of success is…dare I say…doubtful. However, if you can answer “Yes” to both of these questions, there is no limit to what you will be able to accomplish. Stay focused, monitor your progress, take it one step at a time, ask for help when you need it, don’t be afraid to falter…then pick yourself right up again and most importantly…enjoy the journey along the way. It’s a new year! You can do it!
Nearly every week at CFWLS, I hear a couple of comments from people just like you. In fact, perhaps these are/were familiar to you:
“I exercise every single day and I am not losing any weight!”
“I eat a very healthy low fat diet and yet, I seem to be gaining weight!”
The reason this occurs is usually a misunderstanding of how to balance your carbohydrate, protein and fat intake. That’s the focus of this month’s newsletter and of course, there is much more to learn but that’s the joy of your weight loss journey. Once you understand the concepts of these macronutrients and balance them in your life, you will find yourself less hungry, losing weight and likely resolution of some underlying metabolic problems you have.
With regards to fat, I want you to understand that Fat is not the Enemy. If I had to pick a primary “enemy” source with regards to food, it would be insulin which is controlled primarily by your sugar intake (all carbohydrates break down into sugar). Thus, when I am out and someone says – “Look, I am going healthy – I bought no/low fat” I cringe. If you compare labels for whatever the item is, you will find that the manufacturer has decreased the fat but increased the carbohydrate content. If they didn’t, you likely wouldn’t eat it because it would not taste good. Here are a few facts about fat: P Fat is the body’s preferred and most reliable form of energy, which is why we store excess energy as fat on our bodies. If your body has less carbohydrate (sugar) as an immediate source of energy, it can finally get to breaking down fat for energy (which = less fat). P Fats help keep you feeling full (less hungry = a good thing). P Eating a controlled carb diet with adequate protein and healthy fats like those found in salmon or avocados is the easiest way to inadvertently eat less without sacrificing satiety. It also improves your ability to access stored body fat rather than lean body mass, which is helpful for fat loss and long term success (since your lean body mass is what drives your metabolism).
So…the next time you reach for the low-fat/no–fat options, you might want to think again. More on these power foods in this newsletter and Weight Management University™. See you at CFWLS – we are here to help!
For direct access to answers to your weight loss questions, sign up for Losing Weight USA! Your connection to the expert – www.LosingWeightUSA.com
Sometimes numbers can be magical. I knew somewhere inside that I have always believed it even though my rational mostly insisted they were only important. Numbers are important. We need them for finances, schedules, sciences, systems and basically everything. Obviously numbers are very important in weight loss as they help track proteins and carbs and of course, the scale. I certainly have had a number in my mind for a long time and that number has represented a clothing size. As I ate my way through the last decade, I imagined that if I reached that goal number, my size ________, that I would be happy and satisfied with my appearance. It was the magical number.
A funny thing has happened during the past few months in the CFWLS Weight Management University. I spent all of my time paying attention to the ‘important’ numbers, monitoring proteins and carbs and calories. Perhaps too intently, I was watching the numbers on the scale like a hawk. Of course, I did realize that my clothes were all looking baggy and not fitting properly. Anxious to arrive at the end of the journey, I was so focused on the idea of losing more before buying new clothing that I was having trouble feeling satisfied.
Then last week a friend of a friend of a family member passed on some clothing they no longer wanted. The original giver had no idea that I had lost any weight and in fact, doesn’t know me at all. When I opened the bag I was instantly pleased at the quality and attractiveness of this donation. That is until I picked up a pair of pants and read the size tag. There was that number, my magical number. My heart sank as soon as I looked at it because I was sure that they would never fit. I almost cast them aside, but then I figured why not try? So I did.
Imagine my surprise when not only did they fit, but they were roomy too. As unbelievable as it may sound my rational mind took over and told me that it was a fluke, surely the pants were mislabeled. It’s the honest truth….I was justifying how impossible it was that I had succeeded at a goal I wanted for ten years. Needing more conformation, I pulled out another pair of pants (and even another after that) and slipped into them with the same excellent results. Wow. Size ____? Really? Yes, really.
I realized then that sometimes we can miss the magic that exists in the moment of accomplishment if we are only looking ahead to the finale. It is important to stop and take a breath and soak in all you have achieved. To take a look around and see what right choices have brought you to the place you have arrived at and to appreciate the support and encouragement that have helped you on the way. It’s important.
My time in the program is not over, and my weight loss is not finished. I still have more goals ahead, and I feel confident that I can achieve them now that Dr. Clark has given me the tools I need. But I can take this moment to feel satisfied. The numbers don’t lie and that’s just magical.
Well the prodigal Weight Loss University virtual student has returned! I have missed my interactions with all of you and my counselor, Dawn. However, the lessons I have learned have not been far from my thoughts and daily practices. I hope this finds all of you healthy and thinner!
I have been busy. I wanted to reach my goal weight of 145# by the time I went on my cruise in October.
Guess what, wait for it, here it is….sorry to say, I only got to 148# as my lowest weight the day before I left.
Now I’m home and trying to get back on track. Not exercising like I should is a big factor I’m sure. I tried to stick to portion control, good choices (the seafood was to die for!), and I even went to the fitness center 4 days out of 7. I can’t take full credit for that though; that’s what happens when you travel with a co-worker who is young, fit and driven!! After the first 2 days of having those foofy drinks of the day, I gave up the calories in favor of low carb beer. Had to have something to drink while laying in that awesome hot sun and Caribbean breezes!
I haven’t been able to watch many of Dr. Clark’s webinars due to vacation and long work hours but hopefully that will get under control next week. So I am trying to catch up.
Mark (hubby), left for the Philippines on Sunday to see his mother, so I am on my own for a month. I will use this time to exercise and get my routine back. I’ll miss him, but this gives me the opportunity to pick up the slack and lose those 4# I gained while on vacation. Some old bad habits came back, snacking, not writing down what I eat and indulging in foods that have kicked my carb cravings into high gear. Aaarrgh! Why is it so easy to gain and so hard to lose??
I know the answer Dr. Clark…but it feels good screaming the question sometimes. Ah, here’s the reason, fine dining and lots of it!
Think thin and I will have better results next time and I hope you all do, too!
Well, I apologize; I have been MIA for a couple of months! There have been lots of things going on and lots of things that have gotten in the way of my past diligence with blogs, exercising, journaling, homework, etc. Yes, I recognize these as all excuses for the stall in my weight loss success. I must say that reading Anna’s success in her commitment to the Weight Loss University program, and reconnecting with Dawn have renewed my commitment to me and reaching my goal. As I have said before, “I’m putting my big girl panties on and dealing with it!”
In June Mark (hubby) and I went to the Philippines for 2 weeks to visit my mother-in-law and all of Mark’s cousins, Tita’s (aunts) and Tito’s (uncles). The plane trip was long (13 hours total) and brutal, but it was an awesome trip! It was hot and humid, no AC except in the bedroom, so I think I sweated off any excess pounds! We did walk 1-2 miles every day early in the morning and drinking water was never an issue! The food was delicious and plentiful, especially the deserts. Dawn had good advice before we left and I was able to maintain a small weight gain (2 lbs) by portion control and eating more meat at meal than rice. Probably the weirdest food I had without knowing what it was cow brains!
I thought I could challenge Dawn by asking her the carb content for this and she wowed me when she actually knew! FYI, cow brains have 0 carbs, 10 grams of protein and 108 calories per serving. Is she good or what! I have lots of pictures on my Facebook page if anyone wants to take a look. There is just too much to tell and a picture is worth a thousand words!
When we returned home it was a slow trip back to reality. I started a new job which is more of a mental challenge than a physical one. I now do outcomes for the Emergency Dept. It’s an office job and I miss the physical activity of working on the floor. I now work 5 eight hour days instead of 3 twelve hour days a week and it has been a challenge to exercise like I used to and I find that I have lost focus.
Dawn has been very supportive in helping me get back on track. It takes so little to gain back weight and so much to lose it again. But, I have stayed below 160# which I am happy about. So I’ve reaffirmed my goals, I’m back in the game and by God, I WILL SUCCEED!
I know this was long, had a lot of catching up to do. Enjoy the rest of your summer and we’ll talk again soon. I have a cruise coming up in October and I will look and feel good!
Whew! It sure is hot outside! These are what I call the ‘dog days of summer’ and they are the hottest part of the year here in Virginia. No one really wants to go outside (especially me) and exercising is harder in the hot weather. At least that’s my excuse. It’s a pretty good one too!
As I enter the second month of the Weight Management University program I find myself dreaming of fall fashions (and cooler weather). My weight continues to drop and I find that some things in my closet fit better than they ever have, prompting me to consider a shopping trip for the upcoming season. It is exciting to see the changes that are happening to me physically and as an added bonus even my mental attitude is improving. This might be because I am not so sedentary and tired anymore. The WMU program has eased me into all new eating habits and now after 7 weeks I automatically reach for the ‘right’ kinds of foods without even thinking about it. It has been a fairly smooth transition into healthier habits although I did have a bump in the road a couple of weeks back.
Although I was following the program parameters I hit a plateau where the scale refused to move for over 2 weeks. I must admit I was a little frustrated. Then came Dawn to the rescue! She helped me understand the causes behind plateaus and the variety of options that can help overcome them. Instead of trying just one, I applied multiple techniques and in just a couple of days the numbers on the scale starting dropping again. Yay!
I think it is absolutely wonderful that a place like the Center for Weight Loss Success exists, because in the past I would have simply thrown in the towel when my weight loss stopped and gone back to my old ways. It means everything that someone is standing by you to answer important questions, to cheer you on, and to simply listen. That is the surely the difference between failure and success.
So on to my next goal, which is to exercise more often. I look forward to walks in the park in the crisp autumn air but for now it’s the air conditioned indoor gym for me, doggone it!
My name is Anna Nowak and I am a new member of the CFWLS Weight Management University program. I have spent the last few months watching the success stories unfolding at Dr. Clark’s Center and during that time I began to believe that I could be successful at weight loss too.
The day I signed up I had no idea what my weight or BMI was because I have spent years avoiding the scale and the truth is that I am very overweight. It has been easy to ignore weight gain when I can find pants with elastic waist bands and large shirts that cover my belly. However, it has been much harder to ignore the constant fatigue and back pain that accompanies too much weight and too little physical activity. It is way past time for a change!
So, the first day on the scale was a real eye opener. The scale read 194 pounds with a BMI of 32 (that is a body fat count of 39 %)….good heavens!
Now, I have not always been a ‘big’ girl. My younger years were slimmer although the weight has progressively crept up over the years. I have tried many diets to try to regain control, but as soon asI stopped the program, the weight returned or even increased! I also cannot even count how many times I bought a gym membership with the best intentions, only to stop going after the first few weeks. So with a track record of failure it was pretty easy to justify not even trying.
In any event, I decided to face my fears and overcome my excuses and join the program. My first visit with Dawn was awesome. She gave me great information and listened, really listened to my issues, concerns, and questions. She encouraged me to join in the Lifestyle Education and Group Fitness classes and I am glad she did. The educational classes offered a lot of detailed information and answered questions that I didn’t even know I had. The fitness classes are challenging because of my poor level of fitness but everyone is so supportive and encouraging and the instructors help you modify exercise to suit your abilities. I am already doing activities that I thought I might never be able to do again. My energy levels are increasing and in the last 3 weeks I have managed to lose 8 pounds!
Although things are a challenge, so far nothing in the WMU program has been beyond my ability to do, and best of all is the support and encouragement I receive from both the CFWLS staff and the other members. I feel that has probably been the missing ingredient in every other program I have ever been in before- folks cheering me on.
I am looking forward to the weeks to come as I get lighter and stronger. I understand that it will take time, but every little bit adds up. I am also setting mini goals as well as big goals and the great goal setting tips given to me by the Center have really helped me keep my focus. My next immediate goal is increasing my fitness by walking at least 5000 steps a day and working out at least 3 times a week. I will keep everyone posted on my progress. Thank you, CFWLS, for making this journey possible!