Ideas, inspiration and motivation for a FIT LIFE!

See Through Snacks

The next time you return from the grocery store with your fresh fruits and veggies, put  them in a see-through bowl on the first or second shelf of your refrigerator.  Or leave them in that clear bowl as you watch TV, or read a book.  You’ll be more likely to eat them.

That’s  from  —and it’s just further proof that to eat well, you need to arm yourself well.   sums it up:

“College students wishing to eat healthier may want to invest in a clear fruit bowl says a recent article published in Environment and Behavior (published by SAGE). The new study found that when fruits and vegetables are within arm’s reach, students are more likely to eat them. Furthermore, making fruit and vegetables more visible increases the intake of fruit, but the same does not hold true for vegetables.

Researchers Gregory J. Privitera and Heather E. Creary tested a total of 96 college students by placing apple slices and carrot cuts in either clear or opaque bowls at a table close to the participants or at a table two meters away. Participants watched as the food was taken out of its packaging and were told that they were welcome to eat it.

After leaving the students alone with the food for ten minutes, the researchers found that when apples and carrots were left close to the participants, those healthy foods were more likely to be eaten. Interestingly, making the food more visible to participants by placing them in clear bowls increased the intake of the apples but not the carrots. The researchers explained that this might be due to the fact that fruit is sweeter and may induce more motivation to eat than bitter-tasting vegetables.”

Leave a piece of pie, or birthday cake, or a plate of cookies on a table, and I’ll bet those college kids eat those too!  This isn’t a real newsflash–but think common sense!  Clean your cupboards and fridge of the JUNK…and leave the healthy treats where you can see them…so you’ll eat them!

A Friend’s Motivation

Where do you go for motivation?   Who do you turn to when you need someone to lift you up, cheer you up, or inspire you?   My friend  is my “go to guy”.  He’s a fellow trainer, and has such an amazing ability to inspire.   There have been many days when I didn’t feel like working out, but he somehow gives me the energy to try harder.   He’s had a few hard knocks in life, and knows what it’s like to struggle.   He listens, understands and cheers me up.  With his permission, I’m sharing an email he sent to the trainers at the Hockessin Athletic Club where we work.  HAC is currently undergoing an expansion for Personal Training—and Willie is excited about it.  As we all are.  But I LOVE how it’s not about HIM—it’s about how to create a great TEAM!

FROM WILLIE:

“First, Happy Spring!!

Secondly, I wanted to say thanks to you all for your “awesomeness!”  I feel very privileged to work with and know some of the best trainers ANYWHERE!! And a little shout out to our equally awesomer place of getting our sweat on, the HAC daddy!!

I’m sure you guys know I’m excited beyond belief about our new space and the opportunities to elevate our game to way next level. I’m equally as sure that all the hopes and dreams of what we all want and expect are never going to match up 100%, and that’s ok. Somewhat. I’ll spare you my big rah rah speech and just throw out a couple out thoughts.

Teams are funny, they bring together people who under any other circumstances, wouldn’t know each other, much less hang out with, or even take the time to get to know. So when you end up on one, whether by choice, or circumstance, it requires some kind of bonding agent. Whether the forming of the team is by “executive” order, ie; pulled together to work on a project, positions on those kinds of teams are based on factors such as experience, seniority, need, volunteer & appointment. And we all know how sports teams work, same for military teams and the concepts of teams within the teams itself shouldn’t be a surprise. The thing those kinds of teams share is their duration, most are short term, course of season, wrap up of project, mission accomplished, goal reached.

This is where we are different. Our Team is absolutely the best kind of team there is. We are living breathing ever evolving ever adapting always learning ass kicking agents of inspiration and change!  Our “mission” never ends! Our goal is universal!  We are some of the best at what we do in a whole State!!!

So here’s my thing– the other thing all teams have in common, especially the kind I (we) aspire to be apart of, (think World Class) is sacrifice. The scary word. Nobody likes it, but we all do it and take pride in it when it comes to what we decide we can live with, or without. But here’s the rub, good teams also require (and I said good/WC) the ultimate level of sacrifice. Think Spock in Wrath of Khan, “Sometimes the needs of the many, outweigh the needs of the few” (I’m sure I’m off by a word or two) and if we are going to be the gold standard, then let’s blow the doors off this thing! The new space is going to rock!! There is nothing else like it anywhere!!  HAC is about to blow up! This is serious ALL-IN time.

And as much as we are all soooo individual in our personal lives, the way we eat, train, stretch, favorite exercise, et al; we all have equally strong opinions and ideas and aren’t the least bit shy about voicing them. I’m going to say this with all the love and courage I can muster, we have to trust our leaders and put on our grown up UA gear, trainer-up, pitch in, and most importantly, embrace this opportunity with an open mind. IT WILL BE ALL THAT WE MAKE IT!! “

When to Weigh In

I have a client (a guy) that I constantly tease about his “girly” behavior.  No, he’s not wearing skirts or makeup—but he does something most women can relate to.  And he does it almost every day.   He steps on his bathroom scale.  He obsesses about his numbers.  He’s actually a very fit sixty-something gentleman, and has recently lost over 40 pounds, so I can certainly understand where his need to weigh himself all the time comes from.   But seriously.   It can make you crazy!  Do we really NEED to weigh ourselves every day…twice a day…with clothes, without clothes, before our daily…ahem, “constitutional”, after too…..   My goodness, how important IS it to weigh every day?   “That’s Fit” has a great  on the subject—I love sharing great information!

You’ve heard the expression, “Winners never quit, and quitters never win”….and I generally believe that’s  true.  But sometimes, winners DO quit—in fact, smart winners quit in smart ways, and I’m not talking about giving up.

A smart winner quits when his or her current plan or program isn’t working.  Have you ever been to a gym and seen the same members on the treadmill for 45 minutes to an hour…day after day, week after week, and it seems like their bodies never change?   It’s because their cardio program isn’t working.   Their bodies are doing ONLY what is asked of them, nothing more.  Day after day, those bodies are used to that cardio program and will only expend enough energy (calories) to get the work done on that day.  Again, nothing more.   Those members need to shake things up!

If you find that the “diet of the week” isn’t working for you any more—you are tired of the same foods, you are not losing weight, you are always hungry, it’s time to “quit” that program and find something that works better for YOU.  Find a healthy, intelligent way to eat that works for YOU, and quit following the most recent fad.

If you’ve been going to the gym for a few weeks or months, you probably found that at first you were sore, and probably excited about all the new things you were learning. You probably started noticing changes in your body if you’ve been sticking with your exercise program.  But as time goes on, and your body gets used to those new demands you’ve put on it, it’s going to start only expending as much energy as it needs to, nothing more.  You may notice your weight plateaus, or you are not putting on muscle, or getting stronger.  It’s time to “quit” that program, and start shaking things up!   Add a Zumba class, try some high-energy plyometric moves, change the weights you are using.   You want to constantly keep your body guessing, so it has to work harder to keep up !

Quitting IS an option when you are not seeing results—but make sure you replace your old program with a new, fresh, challenging one….and you’ll get the results you want!

“Breathe” Your Food

Your mother has probably told you a time or two as a kid not to “inhale your food”.   But apparently, some food companies want you to do just that!    There are several products on the market, like , which is basically “breathable” calories.  Another company, , says their inhalable desserts work with your senses of smell and taste to satisfy craving.   I love the idea of having some of my favorite foods without the calories, but inhaling it?  Hmmmm…..So you think it would work for you?  Or would it make you crave the “real thing”?

Easter basket remorse

I ate too much.  My Easter table was filled with ham, turkey, twice-baked potatoes, croissants, cheesecake and blonde brownies.  And I’m not above admitting that on a holiday, I have very little willpower.  And then, the Easter Bunny arrives with enough candy for my two teenage sons that their bags (not baskets, I think they went in the recycling bin two years ago) almost ripped!

Today I’m trying NOT to get into the candy so I can salvage my weekend.  I hope you can do the same.  To inspire you a bit, and perhaps take some of the fun out of the Easter baskets in your house, I’ve rounded up some of the worst  basket offenders.

1. Reese’s Reester Bunny.  Remember the commercial, “You got peanut butter on my chocolate”?  Great commercial because the end result is AWESOME!  But you’re better off avoiding this combo.  One of these bunnies has 798 calories, 42 grams of fat and 88 grams of carbs.

2. Hershey’s Hollow Milk Chocolate Egg.  It’s hollow, and it feels so light, how bad could it be?  These hollow eggs have more than three times as many calories as the Easter-candy favorite — the Cadbury Creme Egg.  At just less than 5 ounces, the shell alone has 570 calories.  If you factor in the four Hershey kisses inside  you’re looking at 660 calories and  41 grams of fat.

3. Marshmallow Peeps Chicks.  I really don’t get the love for this Easter favorite, but my son swears they are best when you’ve “nuked” them and they get puffy like marshmallows.  Peeps are super cute in all their different pastel Easter colors, but they have at least 140 calories and 80 grams of sugar (80!) for five of them.

4. A plastic egg full of Starburst Jelly Beans.  Jelly beans seem like a healthier choice because they don’t have all the fat associated with other chocolatey treats, but don’t be fooled.  Unless you have major willpower, the calories will add up quickly, because I’ll bet you can’t eat just one!  One plastic egg full of the Starburst variety has 190 calories.  And it  likely won’t fill you up at all.  If you really have to have one, just eat a few, close the egg, and hop away from the basket.

5. Large Chocolate Bunny.  Your basket might seem naked without one of these, but it’s also one that can derail your diet in one sitting.  If you have an average-sized seven-ounce chocolate rabbit in your Easter basket, beware.  That cute bunny contains more than 1,000 calories, making it the Easter bunny’s evil caloric twin.

I hope you’ve enjoyed your holiday weekend—It’s a new day, start strong, and hide the Easter basket!

Workplace Calories

When I worked at WCMH-TV in Columbus Ohio, we had a “trough”.  It was basically a long counter, right in the middle of the newsroom, that was used during the news hours for directors to lay and edit their scripts.  The rest of the time, it was a dumping ground for calories.  Birthday cakes, deli trays, candy bowls,  leftovers from our cooking shows—it was either your best friend, or your enemy.

If you are trying to lose weight, the workplace can be a minefield.  Co-workers can sabotage your weight loss efforts simply by “sharing”.  I can’t tell you how many extra calories I ate, simply by stopping by a colleague’s desk to chat, and mindlessly checking her community candy drawer.

According to , a 2006 study found that secretaries who were given clear jars filled with chocolates reached for a sweet treat 71% more often than those given candies in a jar they couldn’t see into.  As long as the clear dish was visible, the secretary ate 77 more calories a day.  That’s about an extra five pounds a year.

Coffee breaks, corporate parties, and co-worker celebrations all foster camaraderie, but are just excuses to mindlessly eat.  So here’s a few ways to tame workplace temptation.  You may occasionally look like the “party pooper”, but your slimmer figure may just prove to be inspiring to others!

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  • Cover any goodies on your desk, or whatever communal “trough” you have in your office.
  • Avoid desktop dining.  If you know your favorite co-worker has a jar on her desk, don’t stop by to chat.  Meet in a conference room, talk a walk (hey, accidental exercise!) or have someone else drop off the file you were bringing over.
  • Set an example by bringing in healthier snacks like fresh fruit, and replace the candy with nuts or dried fruit.
  • If you are dining with a co-worker, split large portions.
  • If there are donuts or pastries in open boxes in your lunch room, close the boxes.  Be a trend setter and leave veggies out for healthier grazing.
  • Support co-workers who are trying to lose weight.  You can bet YOU aren’t the only one in your office who struggles with too much 9-to-5 eating!
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