Category: Healthy Life Tips

How to Get Rid of Smoking Addiction

How to Get Rid of Smoking Addiction

It is easy to get hooked to nicotine but for many people, it is almost impossible to regulate the intake of nicotine, let alone let go of it. Nicotine is the drug present in cigarettes that causes changes in the brain and triggers your senses to make you want it constantly. Quitting smoking is getting one step closer to getting rid of nicotine once and for all. Smoking is a killer habit, which can turn into an addiction easily. It makes the smoker physically unfit, triggering a series of diseases, majority of them being lethal.

Many people addicted to smoking are not able to get rid of it, mainly because they find it difficult to get through the withdrawal symptoms. However, self-motivation can help them a great deal in overcoming the addiction. If you are one among those who are finding it difficult to quit smoking, go through this article. Browse further and learn how to get rid of smoking addiction, with the simple tips given below.

Ways to Overcome Smoking Addiction

— The first step to overcome smoking addiction will be to get rid of everything that is related to it. Dispose all the leftover tobacco products, such as cigarettes and cigars, which are in your possession. When you do not find any of the products within easy reach, the urge to smoke will automatically start diminishing.

— Deviate your mind from the mere thought of smoking. Go for a walk, listen to music or indulge yourself in any other activity, when you experience a craving for smoking. If you are habitual of smoking immediately after meal, eat a hard candy or chewing gum as a replacement.

How to Get Rid of Smoking Addiction

— Avoid doing things that make you want to smoke. Identify the smoking triggers and get rid of them. You should avoid the consumption of alcohol and caffeine, because they are found to be amongst the most common things which trigger the urge to smoke. At the same time, stay away from those who smoke.

— An effective antidote to smoking is water. It helps flush out the toxins from your body. In addition, the intensity of withdrawal symptoms gets reduced.

— Whenever you feel like smoking, apply a pinch of rock salt at the tip of your tongue. Repeat this process for about one month. You will find yourself becoming less and less addicted.

— In order to neutralize the urge of smoking, drink fresh fruit and vegetable juices. The consumption of carrots and celery juice also helps to overcome smoking addiction.

— Honey serves as an herbal medicine as well as an antioxidant. Consume 2 teaspoons of honey every day, for about two months. This will decrease the intensity of withdrawal symptoms and will also diminish the urge to smoke.

— Drink orange and grape juice, at least twice a day. These fruits are effective in removing nicotine out of your body. Moreover, they will help reduce your craving for smoking.

— Another important way of getting rid of the smoking addiction is by listing your reasons for quitting and reading them on an everyday basis. The grim effects of nicotine addiction on your health and your relationship with people are countless. Some people quit smoking because they are concerned about their health, whereas, many others quit smoking to save their relationships. These are just a few examples of reasons. What are yours?

— It is very important to let everyone around you know that you are planning to quit smoking and how this is a very important decision for you. Ask your friends, peers or family members not to smoke in front of you or not to persuade you to go for a ‘puff’ with them. Let them be a part of ending your nicotine addiction. Remember, once you have made up your mind about getting rid of the addiction, you are not only committing to yourself, but to your entire social circle. You can start by telling this to someone who is extremely close to you.

— If you are looking for natural ways to quit smoking, try acupuncture, hypnosis or herbal smoking cessation products, such as nicotine patches or gum. Although, patches may release a small amount of nicotine in the body, it will give the body some relief from the withdrawal symptoms and make good alternatives for cigarettes. Whereas, in the case of acupuncture and hypnosis, it is believed that during these processes, small amounts of endorphins are released throughout the body, which is believed to block the physical responses to nicotine.

— Other nicotine replacement drugs are nicotine lozenges, Bupropion and Varenicline. These drugs are available for varying degrees of addiction and are effective in blocking the nicotine from entering receptors in the body. Note that, you should only take these drugs once you have consulted your physician.

— Another great way of getting rid of the smoking addiction is to talk to a person who has already quit smoking successfully and is happy to have done so! The last thing you need to hear is negative words from a person who is dissatisfied to have quit smoking. Not only will this prepare you mentally but you could also talk to the friend at any point of time, if you are encountering any difficulties along the way.

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The Truth About Avocado and Weight Loss

The Truth About Avocado and Weight Loss

Avocados manage to be both timeless and trendy. The green fruit (yup, it’s a fruit) is used in classics like guacamole and Cobb salad and it’s currently popping up in countless restaurant dishes. But, could the ubiquitous avocado also be good for your weight loss game?

The most common claim that avocados are good for dropping pounds comes from their high content of healthy fats, which are known to suppress appetite, leading to weight loss.

Also, studies show that high-fiber foods, like avocados, boost feelings of fullness. Those feelings of satisfaction mean you’re less likely to overeat which can lead to weight loss.

There’s even evidence that healthy (or unsaturated) fats help prevent blood-sugar spikes, which tell your body to store excess calories as fat in your midsection. That means avocados may be good for controlling belly fat.

Healthy fats and dietary fiber are linked to satiety. Satiety can result in a reduction of excess eating. Eating less often leads to weight loss. But those attributes aren’t exactly unique to avocados.

While avocados can be a healthy addition to your diet, it’s important to be aware of the fact that they are fairly calorie dense. A small avocado (about four ounces) has around 180 calories and 17g fat. And there absolutely is such a thing as too much fat — even the healthy kind.

Just because avocados are healthy and satisfying doesn’t mean you should eat them with complete abandon.

Not only could that prevent weight loss, it could actually lead to weight gain. Definitely enjoy them — just in moderation!

When in Doubt, Weigh It Out

For the most accurate info, weigh out your avocado portion with a food scale. Each ounce has around 45 calories, 4g fat, 2.5g carbs, 2g fiber, and 0.5g protein.

Kitchen scales are inexpensive and they’re great tools for weight management. If you’re not able to weigh out your avocado, here are some shortcut estimates:

1-ounce avocado is equal to:

about 2 tbsp. mashed avocado
about 2 tbsp. chopped avocado
about 1/4th of a small avocado

Tips on Adding Avocado to Your Diet

Spice and spread. You can mash and season them to make a spread for whole-grain toast, high-fiber crackers, sandwiches, or even apple slices. One of my favorite little snacks is high-fiber, flatbread-style crackers topped with seasoned mashed avocado and sun-dried tomatoes.

Egg Addition. A little chopped avocado brings so much flavor to an egg scramble. Mashed avocado is also surprisingly tasty in hard-boiled egg white halves. Top it with chopped lean bacon for a tremendously satisfying snack.

As a salad topper. A bit of avocado on your salad will make it more filling and more delicious. You can even blend up some avocado with fat-free yogurt for a flavor-packed dressing.

Creamy guac dip. Guacamole is delicious, but it’s way too easy to overdo it with the traditional dense dip. Combine 1/4 cup fat-free plain Greek yogurt with the same amount of mashed avocado. Toss in 1/8 tsp. each of salt, garlic powder, and chili powder and you’ve got a guac fix with a seriously slashed calorie count.

For more guilt-free recipes, food finds, tips ‘n tricks, and more, visit Fitness and Weight Loss.

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Why do we get bags under our eyes?

Why do we get bags under our eyes?

The upsides of having relatively hairless faces are fairly straightforward. Less hair means fewer places for parasites to hide, for example, and more exposed skin allows for sweat to more efficiently do its job keeping us cool.

But then there’s the fact that skin is basically clear. While that allows us to easily communicate our emotions and feelings to others it does come with a downside: it is so, so easy for someone to tell when you’re tired.

There’s nothing medically wrong when those bags appear under your eyes, at least not most of the time. But in a 2007 article in the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, Brazilian researcher Fernanda Magagnin Freitag points out that while they are “within the limit of physiology,” many patients can become quite “bothered and concerned by it, even relating the presence of dark circles with significant impairment on their quality of life”. Skin-related conditions that can result in psychological or emotional distress are worth exploring, even if they do not represent a threat to health in more traditional terms.

“Dark circles” or “bags under the eyes” are of course not clinical terms and can refer to a wide range of phenomena that result in a similar appearance. The clinical term is “periorbital hyperpigmentation,” or POH, and because it hasn’t historically been a priority for dermatology researchers, there isn’t all that much known about it.
Read more

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How much exercise offsets a burger?

How much exercise offsets a burger?

How much sex is equivalent to a slice of cheese? And how hard is it to make up for a donut? How much exercise is needed to offset your favourite snacks?

The gym bunny’s equation is simple enough: calories in versus calories out. After you’ve worked up a sweat in the gym, you should have gained the licence to treat yourself to a snack afterwards.
In practice, the maths is difficult to get right: it’s all too easy to overestimate how much we’ve burnt in a session, and underestimate the calories in a snack. The depressing result is that many people (up to 68%, in one study) hoping to shed pounds actually put on weight during their exercise regime.

Fortunately, BBC Future has scoured Harvard Medical School’s comprehensive table of the calories burned during everything from sex to long-distance cycling. Using this information, we equated exactly what it would take to burn off your favourite snacks. (The exact figures will vary from person to person – all the data here assumes an 11-stone, or 70kg, frame.)

Compared to sleeping (which itself burns some calories), even something as simple as sitting at a computer, chewing gum or reading a book is equivalent to eating some modest nibbles. You may be surprised, however, by just how little you have earned during seemingly energetic everyday activities, such as sex – or how far you have to travel before you have burnt off a burger and chips. Exercise offers many benefits besides weight loss, of course. But if you are aspiring to a trimmer, more toned figure (or simply want to remain a stable weight), it’s worth knowing the facts before you hit the gym or raid the pantry.

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Weight Loss – Feel Motivated

Weight Loss - Feel Motivated

It feels good to be thin!
Keep your goals and motivation in mind – it will keep you on track especially if times get a little hard.

For years overweight women have had numerous types of diet/weight loss plans to choose from when attempting to lose weight. Neglected underweight women never had any type of instructional information which would them lose weight in systematic, scientific, step-by-step fashion. Losing weight isn’t easy and does take effort and dedication, but as your clothes start getting looser and you start feeling healthier, I think that you will find it easier to feel motivated. You won’t be happy making any changes until it does.

It’s just plain and simple– we don’t like to do what we’re not ready and willing to do. You really shouldn’t be trying to lose weight if you’re not prepared to do the hard work it takes to maintain that weight loss. You’re just setting yourself up for failure and the dieting blues! Because how depressing is it to have lost 50 pounds only to gain back 60?! And it’s probably better if you think of it as ‘getting healthy’ instead of ‘losing weight’, but to my shame, I’m not quite there yet!

I have one incentive/motivation or whatever you want to call it: Health. I want to be healthy and you cannot be healthy and obese. Just want to feel happy and enjoy life.

Remember keep to basic, simple things you can do each day to help you – drink lots of water, try to eat at least 5+ portions of fruit and vegetables a day and be as active as possible.

Desire is the key to motivation, but it’s the determination and commitment to an unrelenting pursuit of your goal – a commitment to excellence- that will enable you to attain the success you seek. Sooooo… you have no motivation huh??? How about you work out today and I will too? Look at your goal weight hun… you are closer than you think. Summer is here again… and… you are going to hit that goal. I know that you can.

Stick with your calorie quota and I can ensure that you will lose weight. It is important to stick to your daily calorie quota to achieve weight loss. I can assure you that if you fill in your food diary with everything you eat and drink you will lose weight. If you set yourself small and achievable goals it will motivate you to go further when you reach them.

Related Link: View more Fitness and Weight Loss articles

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The real secret to a good night’s sleep

The real secret to a good night's sleep

Kerstin Schneiderbauer, a freelance data analyst, was having trouble sleeping. Her mind would keep running through her work and to-do lists throughout the night when she was overloaded with projects. When she wasn’t working through an assignment, worrying about where the next one was coming from interrupted her night’s rest.

When a friend recommended a sleep coach, Schneiderbauer initially resisted. “I thought, who needs a coach? I’ll keep talking to my husband about it. But I had been doing that for a year and a half,” said Schneiderbauer, who lives near Vienna, Austria. She feared a coach would do nothing but give her a list of dos and don’ts to follow.

To her surprise, her first session with sleep coach Christina Stefan wasn’t so straightforward. The session was more like career, life and sleep coaching rolled into one.

Stefan wasn’t telling Schneiderbauer what to do. “She was asking questions, also about my family,” she said. Her primary problem was not being able to shut down from work. “I never really closed the office door in a metaphorical sense.”

After five of her 10 sessions, Schneiderbauer was sleeping better. She had learned a visual imaging technique for calming herself if she was awake at night and changed key habits that became apparent after keeping a sleep log. For starters, Schneiderbauer began writing down in the evenings all her work to-dos for the next day so she could switch gears, and expressing worries about work was banned from evening conversation.

Almost half of us don’t sleep well: 45% of the world’s population is impacted by sleep problems that threaten health and quality of life, according to the organisers of World Sleep Day, citing a 2008 study. And the health impacts are serious. Poor sleep can be linked to obesity in children and many psychological conditions such as depression, anxiety and psychosis in adults. In the UK alone, more than 10 million prescriptions are written every year for sleeping pills, according to a report by the Royal Society for Public Health.

In the US, more than 2,800 sleep clinics have been opened. Revenue was roughly $7.1bn in 2015, according to IBIS World. And the global sleeping aids market – which includes products such as herbal and over-the-counter drugs, sleep labs, mattresses and pillows, and sleep apnea devices – was valued at an estimated $58 billion in 2014, P&S Market Research reported.

Once just a resource for sleep-deprived parents or professional athletes seeking peak performance, the sleep coach is now for everyone. Sleep coaches charge different rates, depending on location and experience, but anecdotal evidence suggests the coaching costs 70-130 euros an hour in Europe.

It’s good business

Steven MacGregor, the founder of Leadership Academy Barcelona and an expert on executive health, describes sleeping as a “key professional skill” that must be learned and practiced, an activity that needs top priority every day. Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon, is said to prioritise eight hours of sleep as the most important thing after his 12 hours at the office, according to MacGregor. And Huffington Post founder Arianna Huffington frequently talks about the value of good sleep.

Huffington fell asleep at her desk one day and knocked her head so hard that she broke her cheekbone. MacGregor, who teaches at IESE, IMD and other business schools, researches health and wellness for top performers. “We ask executives how they can take their own health and well-being more seriously to improve their thinking, decision-making and life as an executive,” he said. “The type of work that is affected by sleep deprivation is executive thinking, like dealing with uncertainties.”

Stefan also sees proper sleep as a personal “resource” for executives that can help them make the right decisions and handle stress. Yet many people fail to get help if they’re struggling to rest. According to World Sleep Day organisers, most sleep disorders are preventable or treatable, yet less than one-third of sufferers seek professional help. “Sleep is still a taboo topic,” Stefan said.

Fitting sleep in

The good news is that sleep doesn’t need to be done in a controlled environment, like your bedroom. Napping or nodding off for a few minutes between meetings is equally beneficial. The National Sleep Foundation says a nap of under 30 minutes can help you feel more alert and improve your performance, without interfering with night-time sleep.

MacGregor advises executives who fly frequently to teach themselves to sleep on planes, perhaps by rehearsing it at home. Or maybe you’re among the lucky few whose company has installed a sleeping pod in a break area. It’s there for a reason.

Inducing sleep

While counting sheep never really works, there is something to be said for distraction. In Schneiderbauer’s case, her coach advised her to create an image in her mind that stimulates relaxation and evoke that image as needed. At Stefan’s Vienna office, she was stretched out on a sofa and asked to describe in words and pictures an ideal state of relaxation.

Schneiderbauer imagined diving over a coral reef, feeling weightless and hearing only the sound of her own breathing. “I see myself over the corals and with the fish, and I hear myself breathing. Then I begin to shut down,” she said. Schneiderbauer evokes the image one to two times a day in low-stress periods and up to 10 times a day when she needs to calm down or nod off. “I really try to not only see a picture, but to feel it. Now it’s automatic. Now it takes only minutes [to get calm],” Schneiderbauer said.

A willingness to change

A sleep coach alone cannot make a client sleep. The desire to change has to come from within, said Sibylle Chaudhuri, a coach and trainer in Ratingen, Germany, who offers individual sleep coaching as well as workshops.

Chaudhuri once turned down a client who was caring for her sick mother, wasn’t getting help with the kids and house from her husband, and had a job. She wasn’t willing to find help to lighten her load. The woman frequently woke up in the night and couldn’t fall back asleep. She would say, “Can’t you just make me sleep? You’re [certified] in neuro-linguistic programming, can’t you just make my brain do it?”, Chaudhuri recalled. “This is self-development and you have to be ready to change your thinking. Coaching is about change, and change is difficult for most people.”

Seeing the light

Part of achieving a breakthrough is challenging your own beliefs. “Most people think that sleep is something that just happens naturally, and it’s just supposed to happen, no matter how you treat your body. I think the worst thing is to take [sleep] for granted. It’s like going to the gym, we have to do something for our psyches and bodies to sleep properly,” Chaudhuri said.

Chaudhuri said the secret to sleeping better is really a change of lifestyle, and there’s rarely only one reason that you can’t sleep well. “Usually it’s the sum of several bad habits. Usually it’s us who have done this to ourselves,” Chaudhuri said. “The most difficult thing is that people have to change their habits.”

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All That Dieting – And No Results

All That Dieting - And No Results

Clearly, a healthy person of ordinary common sense will not choose to deplete his vitality, lower his resistance to infection, and court anaemia among other complex ailments merely in order to face himself more cheerfully in a full-length mirror. Well, there are serious reasons to worry about overweight. Its health hazards are well enough known to cause that same sensible person to take thought when his scale starts inching upward.

But-you’re overweight. You have taken thought. You’ve tried starving, calorie-counting, exercise. In each case the results were the same–either there were none, or a few pounds slipped off only to be immediately replaced the moment you returned to anything like a normal diet. In addition you almost lost both your job and your marriage as it became impossible for any individual, however well adjusted, to get along with you. Yet still you waken to each new day aware that for another twenty-four hours you are going to ask your heart to service a plant that may be five, ten, or with really bad luck even twenty pounds heavier than it is efficiently equipped to manage. What to do?

First, if you haven’t already done so, check with your doctor. Second (and contingent upon the outcome of that interview) read the rest of this book. The low carbohydrate diet may be your answer.

Suppose that you are fortunate enough to have a doctor whose concern for your health outweighs his verbal tact.

He gives you a thoughtful look, puts down his pen and says, ‘My friend, we are speaking not of overweight, but of obesity.’ In that case, forget this book, or give it to a friend.

Obesity-gross overweight-is a medical classification, not a cosmetic one. If you are truly obese, neither this diet nor any other should be self-applied. You belong entirely in your doctor’s hands, a slave to the letter of any regimen which he, after careful tests, tailors for you. It is possible that you are one of those individuals whose bodies, for reasons not yet fully understood, do not deal in the normal way with food.

The oldest cliches in the folklore of dieting are type A, who cannot look at a slice of beef without gaining four pounds, and type B, who remains underweight on a steady intake of heavy cream, French toast, and chocolate cake.

The next time you overhear a luncheon conversation in which these two unfortunates are exchanging complaints, don’t assume that A has been sneaking down to midnight feasts of fried pork chops and sweet potatoes, or that B is merely trying to endow herself with a touch of the piquantly peculiar. It is entirely possible that they are telling the truth. Any doctor numbers among his patients some who accumulate weight on very reasonable diets, and others who cannot cover their bones no matter how hard they try.

The answer may be metabolic, psychological, glandular, or a complex combination of some or all of these; it may lie along biochemical lines yet to be explored. The one certainty is that in individuals at these extremes, body chemistry does not perform in the predictable manner.

Raleked: View more Healhty Life, Diet and Fitness Secrets

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Fitness: Why is it so important?

Fitness: Why is it so important?

Fitness. A simple word whose meaning is far-reaching and occupies almost every corner of our lives. Be it physical, emotional or mental, our fitness dictates how we function, and all aspects of it are intertwined – with one consistently affecting the other.

Physical fitness is about more than just losing weight or gaining muscle – it’s about laying down a foundation upon which your life can be built. A body in a positive physical state becomes a tremendous asset to draw from both inside the gym and out when it comes to issues such as alleviating stress, the promotion of healthier personal and professional relationships, learning how to better manage your time (and follow through on commitments) by way of scheduled activity, and an overall sense of mental clarity.

The “why” of fitness and its importance is easy to answer – but the “how” can be arrived at in a number of ways. You might enjoy participating in a sport-related activity (tennis, squash, golf), or you could get together with your friends to take part in a group class (aerobic, yoga, spinning). Of course, there are also individuals that prefer to simply grab a pair of dumbbells and have at it or jump on a treadmill and run the day away. Everyone is unique in how they pursue their fitness goals – but we all share a common purpose: to make tomorrow better than yesterday.

Let us help you with your fitness goals – however you choose to pursue them. We know that you will come to realize the Ottawa Athletic Club is more than a fitness centre – it will ultimately be the center of your fitness.

Related: View more fitness secrets

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The Art of Changing Easily and Gracefully

The Art of Changing Easily and Gracefully

The people who are thriving and will continue to thrive in this era are those who are agile and skilled at changing easily and elegantly in response to their changing environment, and as they proactively create more of the life they want. So here are some tips to help you become more agile:

Accept yourself exactly as you are

I know that sounds totally counter-intuitive, but the paradox is that when you try to change yourself from a perspective of negative judgment of yourself, your self-criticism will make you feel bad, which will have a negative impact on your motivation.

Attacking yourself with self-criticism will also activate your stress response, which actually changes the biological functioning of your brain and body and reduces the flexibility and quality of your thinking. This in turn uses up more of your energy, makes you think and behave defensively rather than proactively, stresses your body out and makes you tired and even ill.

When you accept yourself, you stop fighting yourself and your relaxed state will improve your motivation and the flexibility and quality of your thinking. This makes it much easier for you to make your changes – and to enjoy the process of making them. We think and perform much better when we’re in a state of love, rather than fear. Love opens our hearts and minds and we change much more easily when we have open hearts and minds.

The Art of Changing Easily and Gracefully

Focus on what you want, not what you don’t want

We have a natural tendency to focus on problems and sources of stress in our lives. And, this makes sense – we do it because we want to “keep an eye” on potential threats so that we can respond more quickly, and ensure our survival. This usually is a good strategy for ensuring survival but it’s not a good strategy for thriving.

Focusing on what you don’t want will elicit your stress response and close down your thinking, making it more difficult to think creatively when you respond to the threat. Knowing, and focusing on what you want, rather than focusing on what you don’t want is also important because it’s the beginning of getting familiar with what you want.

Get familiar with what you want

We move towards what’s most familiar, and we resist what’s unfamiliar. If you’re familiar with how your life has been or is, but the way you want your life to be is unfamiliar and vague, then a part of you will resist going towards the unfamiliar and you will seek to repeat your current habits.

Because you’ve survived by doing what’s familiar, a part of you assumes that familiar is safe, even if it doesn’t make you happy. Guess what, if we ever feel that we have to choose between safe and happy, we’ll usually move towards what’s safe. So, to dissolve your own internal resistance, get familiar with being the way you want to be by going their mentally, and filling out the detail even before you start making your changes.

Focus on changing your thinking, rather than focusing on changing your behavior.

Our behavior flows from our emotional state, which is informed by our thinking patterns and the stories we tell ourselves. So discover the thinking patterns and stories you’ve been using that have prevented you from already having the life you want and being the person you want to be. You can do this by asking yourself,“What have I been assuming that’s prevented me from having what I want?” And then question those assumptions, ask yourself what other assumptions are possibly true in that context, and choose to operate under those liberating assumptions instead.

Focus on the feelings

Ultimately, it’s feelings we want and we only want other stuff because of the feelings we think it’ll give us. So become aware of the feelings you’re seeking. This will have two great results: first you’ll have what you ultimately want right now rather than having to wait till you’ve changed your circumstances. Second, by feeling the way you want to feel, you’ll be getting familiar with the changes you want to make, making it easier to make those changes without your own internal resistance.

Break your change into small, achievable steps you can take on a daily basis

It’s much easier to make change incrementally than it is to make major changes in a few areas of your life all in one go. This is because more change means more unfamiliarity and the greater the unfamiliarity, the more likely that a part of you will resist the changes and try to go back to what’s familiar.

Focusing on big changes can also cause overwhelm and stress, which closes down your thinking, causing de-motivation and making it harder for you to make your changes. If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the changes you want to make, break your changes into small steps and focus on doing only the next step that feels achievable and liberating.

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No matter what your goal, fitness is a lifestyle

No matter what your goal, fitness is a lifestyle

You are so excited! After months of hard work, you finally fit into those jeans you couldn’t button not too long ago. You can see those muscles that you always knew were hiding under that fat. You finally finished your first half marathon! No matter what the goal, it’s a great feeling when you put it in your sights and actually accomplished it.

During those months, you were diligent with your workouts (never skipping), prepared your meals in advance (so you wouldn’t make bad impromptu choices). But you decide to go out and “celebrate” for a drink. Then two. Then you say, “What the hell, bring on some nachos!” –you deserve it, right? After that, you have to satisfy that sweet tooth, right? So, you take the “Willy Wonka” train to the nearest frozen yogurt café and load it up with all the fixings!

You say, “Oh, there’s nothing wrong with one night of celebrating.” Except, you wake up the next morning and before you even realize what you’re doing, you find yourself rummaging through the cupboards for that box of Pop-Tarts you bought three months ago,. Once you find yourself staring at the bottom of an empty cardboard box that once was home to “God’s gift to the breakfast pastry” and say, “What did I do!? Well the day is shot, might as well go out with a bang, and start fresh tomorrow! Chinese for dinner!”

Bad move! One day leads to two…then a week. Then a month. Those jeans begin to get tighter. You get aggravated. You start to go in a downward spiral and you lose the motivation to work out and prepare your foods. Everything you worked so hard for and that made you feel so good isgone, and for what? A quick fling with some sweet tasting treats?

Here’s the thing…every day makes a difference. You cannot train hard and eat right only three days out of the week and expect to see a positive change. There is no five days on, two days off (more commonly known as the weekend) schedule that you can follow and still expect to see results. Fitness is every day. It doesn’t need to be 100%, but it should be close.

Though, one isolated cheat meal won’t affect you, what’s really going to get you in trouble is if you extend that meal through the weekend. Repeatedly. Then slowly let it leak into Monday, Tuesday, and the rest of the week. Pretty soon, your weight is creeping back up. Little bites are nothing, but added together they become something big. Just because I may steal a few of my kids M&M’s (please, don’t call DCYF), it doesn’t mean I’m not consuming calories. They add up, and, especially if I do it repeatedly, it can easily equal a whole bag.

Again, being fit is a lifestyle; it should be made a habit. Do you brush your teeth? Why? The answer isn’t because it so much fun and tastes delicious! It is because of the consequences of not doing it. What are they? Let’s see…gingivitis, bad breath, cavities, stained teeth, and ultimately decaying, loose teeth that might need to be pulled out.

Exercising is the same thing. Hopefully, you enjoy it more than brushing your teeth. But, more importantly, think of all the great things you get from exercising. Exercise makes every aspect of life better. And what are the consequences of not exercising? Let’s see…osteoporosis, arthritis, diabetes, tendinitis, high cholesterol, heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, decreased metabolism, lethargy, and weight gain.

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