Get Healthy and Stay Healthy

  

When I decided to get healthy and stay healthy, I had to break bad habits and learn new ones.  This is not an easy task.  But it’s funny, when you’re motivated to reach a goal, you do the weirdest things.  I know I did!

Get Healthy & Stay Healthy

Get Healthy & Stay Healthy

One of the habits I had to break was my dependency on food.  It’s hard to admit, but it’s true.  I had to learn to deal with why I overate so often. 

Most everyone knows by now that I am a nurse, I am not a psychiatrist or a medical doctor.  My nursing training gave me enough smarts to know that I depended on food to make me feel better psychologically.   I ate when I was stressed, I ate when I was sad, and I ate a lot when I felt fear and I felt fear most days so, well you guessed it—I overate daily.  Yet overeating to cope with my emotions was a very bad habit I had to break to get healthy and stay healthy.

Over the past 9 years in keeping my weight off, I continue to learn how to deal with life’s challenges without food.  How?  I guess the best way to answer that question is to say I think things through before reacting.  Maybe I use my intelligence rather than my emotions.  But the very first step for me to get healthy and healthy was to accept that using food to squash my emotions was a bad habit.  Once I accepted this, I took control of my eating.  Before I accepted this, my emotions took control of me. 

I’ll be the first to admit breaking a bad habit is painful, especially if you did it for a long time.  But I’ll also admit, gaining control of your eating and your life is a much better feeling that opens doors to other opportunities to get healthy and stay healthy. 

If you consistently overeat and suffer from a weight problem, here are some tips to help you get healthy and stay healthy.

Plan your meals.  Those of us that overeat for the wrong reasons need to plan meals and stick with the plan.  A daily meal plan before you start your day will help you control those stressful times that may tempt you to eat mindlessly. 

Talk rather than eat through your emotions.  Do you talk to yourself?  I do all day long.  When I decided to think rather than react and then binge, I became more centered and thought about the emotions I was feeling.  At first, I did this through journaling.  I would write down something like, “I feel scared today, I have that big presentation and I hate the way I look”.  Then I would comfort myself and develop a plan to deal with the nerves without food.  So my self- talk went something like “I know my information very well, better than anyone else.  All I need to do is take deep breaths and enjoy the moment and share the information like I am talking with a friend”.  Soon I journaled less and found myself talking to myself more and in comforting ways.

Take a break.  For years I pushed myself too hard and this led to a lot of overeating.  I had “to do” lists that ran 2 pages some days and I’m talking 8.5 x 11!  When I decided to get healthy and stay there, I took breaks more often and guess what?  I got more productive!  It’s weird because this was the opposite of what I expected to happen but it’s true.  I would take a 10 minute break out of every hour and not only did I get more done, I felt more relaxed, and my need to overeat decreased.

Do what you love.  Have you ever noticed when you are doing what you love, time passes quickly but most importantly, you feel relaxed?  So many women do what they have to and what is expected of them but rarely take time to do something nice for them.  I was like that for years at 280 pounds and I resented it.  When I decided to get healthy and stay healthy, I started taking more time for me and did what I loved to do during that time.  At first, I blocked time on my calendar, only 30 minutes a day.  After a while when I noticed how much better I felt, I started taking paid time off from work.  A half day here, a half day there, was very therapeutic.  But again most importantly, I relaxed more and as my stress level fell, the resentment and frustration went away.  But more importantly, the urge to overeat went away too!

Well, these are tips that work for me and ones that I still use, 145 pounds lighter.  They may not work for everyone but they are worth trying.  If you are ready to get healthy and stay healthy, you know you need a different approach to lose your weight than the latest fad.  Overeating is within your control and these simple tips can help you on your journey to get healthy and stay there!

Weight Management Tips: What Everyone Needs to Know about Lifelong Weight Control

  

Today I begin my 9th year of shedding obesity and I want to celebrate by giving you a gift of my favorite weight management tips.  While I gathered a lot of weight management tips over the past 8 years, these 3 are extra special because I live them every single day.

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Happy Anniversary!
8 Years Obesity Free Today!

Weight Management Tips

Tip #1:  The first weight management tip to share is what I teach in The Best Way to Lose Weight (and Keep it Off!) Program that it is all in the exercise.  Unlike weight loss which depends on cutting calories, weight management is all about exercise.  Why?  Well, weight loss is a temporary thing.  You reduce your calorie intake until you reach your ideal weight.  The challenge comes when you reach your ideal weight and you need to think long term.  Trust me when I say, you will want to change up your meal plans and splurge every so often.  To do this, you need to rely on exercise forever.  Managing your weight relies on a balance between calories in and calories out.  When you exercise, you allow yourself more calories to enjoy new and more foods.

Tip #2:  Change it up.  Once the honeymoon phase of reaching your ideal weight wears off, you may find yourself bored with your routines.  The same foods and exercise can cause anyone to lose their weight management motivation quickly.  This weight management tip is all about keeping variety in your lifestyle plan.  For lifelong weight control, maintain variety in foods and exercise.

Tip #3:  Allow all foods.  I cannot emphasize this enough.  You know, for years when I would yo-yo diet, I deprived myself of all my favorite foods.  Once I ended the diet, I could not wait to have my favorite foods again.  Now 145 pounds lighter since 2005, I eat every type of food I like.  I never deprive myself anymore.  Now, I’ll admit, there are days when I think I want something but the calories are not worth the extra time on the Elliptical or the Treadmill.  Then I quickly change my meal plan.  But I always allow myself my favorite foods.  If I change my mind later in the day, then I revise my meal plan.  But this weight management tip is a gem that many of my clients have difficult grasping in the beginning, yet it is very important for lifelong weight control.

Well, these are three of my favorite weight management tips.  You can learn more tips by subscribing to my free weight loss tips report.  There are even more tips in my Best Way to Lose Weight (and Keep it Off!) Program.  This is the same program I used to lose my 145 pounds in 2004 and it is the same one that I teach my clients. 

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Take this Medication to Make Obesity Healthier?

  

Okay so I just finished reading this article posted in the Obesity newsletter “Could a Medication Make Obesity Healthier” and I felt frustrated.  I

image of medications

Obesity Meds Won’t
Make You Healthier

reluctantly accepted when the American Medical Association (AMA) declared obesity a disease.  Whether I agree or not that my obesity was because of an illness is irrelevant.  What is important about labeling obesity a disease is that doctors will now receive payment for the treatment they prescribe to prevent or reduce unhealthy weight.  But there are 2 drawbacks with this decision from my perspective.  First, it doesn’t make doctors look very good that they needed to be financially incentivized to help overweight patients.  Second, payment for more treatment choices just leads to more dependency on medical care.  This will soon prove to be disastrous as the U.S. government takes over the healthcare industry beginning in January 2014.  For me, my unhealthy weight changed the moment I decided to take responsibility for it.  But if calling obesity a disease helps patients receive the care they need, then I am all for it.

But I have to say that I draw the line with prescribing a drug that keeps people obese while lowering their risk of obesity-related complications such as heart disease, diabetes, and stroke.  Any nurse knows that medications are risky, especially when it comes to obesity.  First, medications have side effects as many of the patients in the study found out.  Second, the body becomes intolerant to medications over time.  Case in point, diabetes and Gastrointestinal reflux disease (GERD) are two diseases that come to mind.  Type 2 Diabetes and GERD are common complications of obesity.  Also, many patients need more or different medications to treat the symptoms of Type 2 Diabetes and GERD.  This is because their bodies become immune or resistant to the first line medications.  But keeping true to the issue with labeling obesity as a disease, I know a medication cannot make obesity healthier.  Medications treat symptoms and not the cause of disease.  Besides, the idea is completely contrary to labeling obesity as a disease.  Prescribing a medication to reduce the risk of obesity while maintaining unhealthy habits is like encouraging patients with lung disease to continue to smoke; there is something disturbing about these two scenarios. 

Rather than support unhealthy habits, the medical and pharmaceutical communities should focus their efforts on wellness and prevention.  But as everyone is learning, illness is big business which produces big profits.  Frankly, taking a walk and eating fruits and vegetables is cheap compared to open-heart surgery and all the follow up drugs and care that come with heart disease.  As a former obese person and quality director in a hospital, I can say with 100% confidence, the time to take control of your weight and your health is right now.  Relying on a medication to delay weight-related complications is an awful way to live your life.  Besides, no long-term studies exist on the risks of this medication while staying obese. 

Taking control of your health by reaching your ideal weight is easier than you think.  I reached my ideal weight after experiencing obesity since I was a kid.  You can reach your ideal weight too.  Click here to learn how I lost and keep my 145 pound weight loss since 2005. 

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Can You Lose Weight with Job Stress?

  

Recently I was asked “can you lose weight with job stress”?  I gave some serious thought about job stress and weight loss.  Looking back I know that my job stress played a large part of weighing 280 pounds.  I’m not saying it was my employer’s responsibility.  No, I owned my obesity.  What I am saying was that my job stress was directly related to my unhappiness in my career.  Clearly, my health depended on reducing my job stress.  Read on to learn how I answered the question “Can you lose weight with job stress”?

While I became a Registered Nurse for all the right reasons, I stayed in health care for all the wrong ones.  This was the problem with my job stress.  When I realized I could no longer make a difference on the “disease side” I knew I had to make a career move.  Starting my own business was something I always wanted and I believed this move would eliminate my job stress.

Yet starting a business sometimes has more stress than being an employee.  Now as a business owner I am responsible for everything.  From taking out the garbage to the bottom line, my business depends on me.  Yet the move was positive and fulfilling. 

image of successful business woman

Job Stress and Your Career

Recently I realized that I was on the path to creating more job stress.   My focus was wrong.  As a previous administrator in a hospital and dialysis clinic, my job was to focus on the numbers.  Dollars in must be more than dollars out was the mantra.  After all, my job was to help operate a profitable business.  While I believe this is important because many people’s lives and livelihood rely on running a profitable business I also realize that this thinking is short-term and created a lot of job stress.  Now in my own business I believe the best way to reduce job stress is to do what you love to do and the money will come.  This was my experience when I  became a Registered Nurse.  I had no idea nurses the amount of money nurses made.  Experiencing poverty as a young woman I was thrilled to have found a profession I adored.  The bonus came when I learned about the great salary.  But when I started my career as a Registered Nurse I fell in love with learning skills to save lives.  The money was never the priority.  I believe this is the reason I experienced such little job stress in the early stages of my career.  It wasn’t until I became frustrated with health care that I began to experience job stress.  Also, the longer I experienced my steady paycheck and high salary, the more I felt afraid to make a career move.  This also led to more job stress.

Well, reflection is a positive thing.  It helps us pause and evaluate our personal path in life.  Looking back, I overate a lot because of my job stress.  I overate because I was in the wrong job.  A lesson learned for me was to eliminate job stress and experience an ideal weight, I had to refocus on doing what I love to do-help women achieve their goals.  While I no longer work on the “disease side” , I am fortunate to help women on the prevention and “healthy lifestyle” side of health care.  My nursing experience showed that excess weight is the number one cause of diseases and their complications.  As a Woman’s Weight Loss Mentor I am back doing what I love-helping women achieve their goals, their way.  A Double-Win!

If you are experience job stress, I encourage you to take a moment and reflect on what brings you joy in your career.  Changing careers is never easy but living unhealthy in an overweight body is much worst!  Good health starts with reaching your ideal weight.  If you overeat to reduce job stress, you may want to explore a new career or job.  A great place to start exploring new jobs of interest is The Bureau of Labor Statistics website.  You can follow this link to access the handbook of jobs to help with your journey. 

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Take care and remember, I’ve been there.

Georgene

Don’t Worry About Your Kid’s Health and Weight

  

image of child smelling a rose

Kids’ Health Depends on Us

As a young woman, I never worried about my kid’s health and weight.  I think I was lucky because my boys were good eaters and not too picky.  When my boys were small, I listened to the doctor about feeding them and everything seemed to work out well.  Now as a grandmother, I worry all the time about the health of my grandchildren and their parents.  There is so much more we know about the link between nutrition and good health and in my opinion, a lot to worry about.  But I found a secret ingredient to reduce my worry about kid’s health.

You know at 280 pounds, I was a horrible role model for a healthy lifestyle.  Admittedly, I ate poorly.  Yet I never worried about my kids’ health and weight.  In fact, I never made the connection that my unhealthy lifestyle was making an impact on my children.  Now, as a women’s weight loss mentor, I have a different view on kids’ health.  The truth is that children mimic everything we do.  I see this with my grandchildren.  Although it looks like play and sometimes really cute, in reality, my grandchildren watch and mimic my every move.  This is especially true with my eating habits.  When I eat an apple or carrot, I must have one for my grandchildren or give them mine.  The same is true when I eat snacks.  If I eat a chip or cookie, I must share.  I cannot take those pouty lips and sad eyes!  I admit, I cave! 

Yet there is a big difference between my current healthy habits and my unhealthy ones at 280 pounds.  Now, I never worry about my habits because I know my grandchildren are learning about health from me.

But that wasn’t always the case.  And even though I was lucky with my own children, I often wonder if they might have been healthier had I shown them healthy eating habits.  The truth is to reduce your worry about your kid’s health, be the best role model you can be.

Kids’ Health Tips

Here are some tips you can use to improve your kid’s health

  • Begin with you.  Your kid’s health depends on you staying healthy.  By staying healthy, you will take better care of your kid’s health and be around longer to do so. 
  • Lose weight.  Excess weight is the number one way to prevent diseases and their complications.  Research shows excess weight causes a 20% increase in risk of dying.  Taking care of your kid’s health begins by you losing weight first.
  • Practice healthy habits around your kids.  I noticed my grandchildren are like sponges-soaking up everything I do.  In reality, we are creating “mini Me’s”.  These mini Me’s can have healthy or unhealthy habits.  Our kid’s health depends on our healthy habits. 
  • Start early.  As I watch my grandchildren, I have an opportunity to start good habits early.  This is much easier than having to correct bad habits later.  For example, my grandson Gavin loves fresh fruits and vegetables.  In fact, Gavin will pick apples over cookies.  This is because his mother started him early on fruits and vegetables.  This healthy habit will carry him his whole life.

I wish I would have known more about kids’ health and nutrition as a young mother 31 years ago.  Although I was lucky, I often wonder if I did the best I could with my kids’ health.  Time will tell.  But I am happy to have a second chance as a grandmother!

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How to Control GERD Symptoms

  

Ill woman with GERD symptoms image

GERD Symptoms are Horrible!

Never in my imagination did I think my recent gym adventure would aggravate my GERD symptoms.  What started as a simple opportunity to fight gravity and build muscle, turned out to be a painful experience that aggravated my GERD symptoms. 

Recently I reported my gym adventure.  You know, I started strength training at my local gym.  The first day was fine.  I began with just a few machines and the most weight I could lift.  I really only need to tone my upper body but that is my weakest part.  My lower body is quite strong from all the aerobic exercises I’ve done over the years of weight loss and weight control.  I thought I was doing the right thing by starting with 40 pounds on each machine for my upper body toning.  The 40 pounds seemed fine and  I did not feel any ill-effects at the time of toning or the next day.

The second visit to the gym left me in pain.  A lot of pain!  While I realize this was my own fault because I failed to warm up, the pain I felt was intolerable and happened so fast.  I lied down on the calf extension machine and turned to reposition and I felt a “pop” on the left side of my rib cage.  As usual, I ignored it.  No pain, no gain, right?  Wrong!  Big time wrong!  I continued my routine, bracing my rib as needed to finish. 

Well that night I felt horrible.  The pain was so intense I had no choice but to treat it.  I couldn’t sleep and I could hardly deep breathe and as a registered nurse I understand the complications of not breathing deeply.  I’ m not much of a drug taker but I decided on Tylenol.  The next day, the pain was still present so I took more Tylenol and then more Tylenol.  Now Tylenol is a great drug unless you have GERD.  GERD is Gastro Esophageal Reflux Disease and I have suffered with GERD for many years.  My GERD symptoms were worst when I was obese at 280 pounds.  Much of my GERD symptoms were from my weight and my diet.  After I lost my 145 pounds and changed my diet, the GERD symptoms subsided. 

That is until I take over the counter meds like Tylenol.  Well the heart burn returned and the gnawing in my stomach

became so irritating that I had to treat the GERD symptoms.  Now, I use Maalox.  A few days of Maalox and my GERD symptoms disappear.  But for years I used prescribed medications.   The problem I faced with prescribed medications was that my body stopped responding to them.  After a little time I needed more and stronger medications to control my GERD symptoms.  I also developed Osteopenia or thinning of my bones from the GERD medications. 

Well, the pain is almost gone.  I moved on from Tylenol to the heating pad.  I also had to stop strength training for a couple of weeks.  The good news is that my GERD symptoms are gone and I no longer need the Maalox. 

My recommendation to you is never ignore GERD symptoms.  If you have GERD symptoms check with your doctor for treatment options.  If you are overweight, losing weight will help with your GERD symptoms too.  

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4 Tips for Your Strength Training for Beginners Program

  

A while ago I posted that I needed to start strength training for beginners.  I’m no stranger to exercise, even though it bores me.  No I work out faithfully 5 times each week as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control.  I use my elliptical and my treadmill and this helps me maintain my healthy lifestyle.  But my problem has always been strength training.  I really hate to use weights.  But when my rowing machine did not give me the results I wanted, I had to start strength training for beginners.

Once I found a gym I liked I began my strength training program.  I started with light weights because, well frankly, I’m weak in my upper body.  I could not lift much.  In fact, I injured myself after just 2 sessions of my strength training for beginners program because I tried to lift too much weight too soon and I failed to warm up correctly.

My injury was minor; just pulled intercostal muscles, but the pain was intense for about 2 weeks.  So now I am back to my strength training for beginners program and I developed the following tips.

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Warm up.  Avoid injury and take the time to warm up by stretching each major area.  Take at least 5 to 10 minutes to warm up.

Start with half the weight you can comfortably lift.  This was my biggest problem when I started my strength training for beginners program.  Truly I can only lift about 40 pounds with my upper body and that’s what I started with.  This was a big mistake because I strained myself after the second session.  My muscle strain caused me to stop strength training for about 2 weeks.  Once the pain was gone, I returned to my strength training for beginners program and I cut the weights down to 20 pounds per machine.  Even though the weights were light, I did not re-injure myself and I could continue my strength training for beginners program.

Use gloves.  If you are like me, you have tender hands.  I noticed when I started my strength training for beginners program that I quickly developed calluses on my hands.  While the calluses did not hurt, they were unsightly. 

  • I bought a pair of Harbinger Fitness Workout gloves to use while I lifted weights.
  •   After several weeks of using these gloves, the calluses disappeared and my hands look and feel much better.

    Complete one full set at a time.  When I started my strength training for beginners program I did one set with multiple repetitions.  That was a mistake.  You have to give your muscles time to rest between each exercise.  Completing one full set of exercises before repeating your second set also helps you keep good form to prevent injury.

    Remember to breathe.  Breathing is important anytime you exercise and this is especially true during strength training.  When you strength train, remember to exhale on exertion.  The most important thing to remember is to never hold your breath while strength training and to breathe deeply and properly during exercise.   

    Avoid gym germs.  If you strength train at a gym, remember to avoid germs by practicing good hygiene.  You can follow these tips to avoid gym germs by clicking on this link. 

    Well, these are the strength training for beginners tips I developed over the past month or so.  I’ve already noticed a difference in my clothes so I know my program is working.  Maybe you can take your measurements before you start your strength training for beginners program and share your results on this page.

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    Relationships are Hard or Are They? 3 Tips to Improve Your Relationships and Your Weight

      

    As women we play many roles and sometimes it seems that relationships are hard.  Being a daughter, sister, aunt, mother, and grandmother are just some of the experiences that make us think relationships are hard.  Certainly, relationships are the cause of many nights of comfort eating.  Every woman has experienced the pain of a hard relationship, at least once in her life.  Recently I shared a post about my dad’s illness.  While we usually think about a broken heart from a significant other or child, you may have the same experience that relationships are hard no matter what role you play.  After all, a broken heart is a broken heart. 

    You know at 280 pounds I overate to escape the pain of some of my feelings about my relationships.  There were many days and nights where I would eat anything sugary to make myself feel better over a difficult relationship.  Too often I thought relationships are hard because of the other person.  But now at my ideal weight for many years I realize the best way to improve a hard relationship is by taking responsibility for me.  I found this helps me maintain a healthy lifestyle.  

    Here are some tips I discovered over the years that changed my thinking that relationships are hard. 

    Relationships Tips

    silhouettes at sunset image

    Relationships Can Be Easy!

    Show respect.  There are three things people crave; recognition, understanding, and appreciation.  These three things are a sign of respect.  But respect starts within and then spreads outward.  If you believe relationships are hard and want to make improvements, think differently about respect.  Practice self-respect and then show your loved one recognition, understanding, and appreciation and watch your relationships get easier!

    Think don’t react.  I used to believe relationships are hard because of the emotions they generate when there is conflict.  While I still believe this is somewhat true, I now focus on thinking before I react.  For example, in the past if a loved one hurt my feelings or forgot my birthday or something, I would become emotional and then overeat to suppress my hurt feelings.  This often led to pent up emotions that would be released at the worst times.  Admittedly, I would blurt out something that happened many years ago during an argument.  Now, I’ve taught myself to think about the situation without reacting.  I try to look at everyone’s perspective and find the reason behind the situation without feeling hurt or reacting emotionally.  This spares me a lot of grief and helps me control my urge to “comfort eat”. 

    Improve your communication style.  Women seem to learn passive-aggressive communication very young.  We often engage in gossip or talk about others behind their back.  Yet I found this style of communication is damaging and makes relationships hard.  Now at my ideal weight I practice assertive communication.  Assertive communication focuses on meeting the needs of all parties.  This shows respect for all (see tip #1).

    While these tips may seem weird in a weight loss blog, it is my experience that our excess weight problem is a symptom of bigger problems in our life.  Exploring and making personal improvements made me rethink my belief that relationships are hard.   While for years I thought my weight was the problem, once I explored other areas of my life that led to unhealthy habits and I fixed them, I lost my weight.  More importantly, I’ve kept my 145 pounds off since 2005.    

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    Letting Go and Weight Loss

      

    image of roses as loveI received news that my dad is terminally ill and this challenged my beliefs about letting go.  At 85 years old, my father has lived a long and meaningful life.  My father is an inspiration to me because he has been deaf since he was 2.  Now, many people are deaf but my dad’s situation is very different.  My father contracted whooping cough at the age of 2 and due to alcoholism in his family; my father did not receive the proper care at the time of his illness.  This lack of care resulted in the complication of meningitis which resulted in his hearing loss.

    While my dad’s story is inspiring, what is more powerful about my dad was that he never blamed his parents for their lack of judgment.  My father always said “it is God’s will for me to be deaf”.  As such, my dad did the best he could.  He learned to adapt to both the hearing and deaf worlds and for this he is one of the most likable and respected people I know.

    As a registered nurse and someone who experienced the transition of one parent, you begin to see signs of disease and aging.  While it is difficult to watch anyone transition, it is important to remember to stay true to your healthy lifestyle.  At 280 pounds, I was enraged when my mom received her terminal diagnosis.  I was enraged for many reasons but mostly because I did not know about the importance of letting go.  Now, at my ideal weight, I realize the importance of letting go to my weight loss and weight management journey.

    Letting Go Tips for Weight Loss

    Here are some tips I use to practice letting go in a healthy way to stay true to my healthy lifestyle and maintain my ideal weight.

    Show gratitude every day for all your blessings.  As a young woman I was too busy with my career and family to stop and pray in a meaningful way for all my blessings.  Now, several times throughout the day, I pray, meditate, and reflect on all my blessings.  Reflecting on my blessings inspires me and gives me a sense of peace.

    Live in the present moment.  This was one of the hardest lessons I learned in life.  Yet it is the most important lesson I learned in letting go.  In truth, the past is only good to teach us lessons and the future is unpredictable.  I lived too much in the past in my 280 pound body and looking back, that was a huge waste of time.  I also tried to control the future.  When things did not work as planned, I got discouraged, blamed myself, and overate to compensate.  Now, at a healthy ideal weight, I feel so much better focusing on the present moment.  I still find value in planning but I also realize the importance of being flexible in my plans in letting go.

    Remain true to your healthy habits.  You know we are blessed to have people in our lives.  Sometimes those people need a lot of our attention.  This was my experience with a deaf father.  While my father was very independent, the truth is as he ages and can no longer see or understand what others say, he needs help.  I am honored to help my father.  Admittedly I also noticed those stressful sensations that used to send me looking for comfort foods.  While I learned to control these urges over the years in maintenance, the truth is they resurface during times of stress.  To manage these urges, I rely on my healthy habits that I learned over the years through weight loss and weight management.  I learned that I was no good to anyone overweight with health problems.  I also learned to practice a little selfishness and take care of me first.  This is contrary to how we are raised as women.  The truth is, if you are not well, your family will suffer.  That is my personal experience and my experience as a registered nurse.  Also, as a nurse, I know you can never replace your health.  Even medicine has side effects that often requires more medicine to correct.  No, nothing replaces what nature gave you and it is important to practice your healthy habits even during times of letting go.

    Be nice to you.  Letting go of loved ones is stressful.  While logically I can admit that my father lived a long and happy life, the truth is, life will change for me.  How it will change will be up to me to decide but nonetheless, there is emotional pain as we learn to let go of the people we love.  It is important to embrace your feelings and be nice to you as you experience the pain.  For years I ran away from emotional pain and hid in my 280 pound body.  Now, I work towards acceptance and manage my feelings without the use of food.  However, when I feel anger, disappointment and confusion, I treat myself with kindness and love and the acceptance comes quickly.

    Well, you have been gracious to give me your time through my period of letting go.  No one knows how long we’ll live and maybe that is the reason we need to stay in the present and treat every moment as a precious gift.

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    Meal Planning Options to Aid Your Weight Loss

      

    Over the years I’ve written a lot on meal planning.  Meal planning is the lifeline of my weight management plan.  At 280 pounds I ate whenever and whatever I wanted.  While the spontaneity was nice, the lack of structured eating led to unhealthy food choices as I dealt with unstable blood sugars routinely throughout the day.

    As a mom, I would care for my children’s needs first and that meant frequent interruptions in my meals, especially when they were very young.  As a Registered Nurse I went several hours without a break and then eating the majority of my calories in one meal.  This main meal was usually eaten late at night or early in the morning after my shift.

    young girl having fun in the kitchen picture

    Hmmm, Meal Planning!

    But I learned some things over the years from obesity to my ideal weight.  One important lesson I learned was that you must schedule meals and eat them on time.  Another important lesson learned was to allow for some flexibility in meal planning.  In my Best Way to Lose Weight (and Keep it Off!) Program, I teach about the importance of eating events.  I stumbled on eating events many years ago in maintenance and after confirming their importance through research, I am a huge advocate of this type of meal planning.

    As I reflect on my weight management progress after obesity, I thought about the evolution of my meal planning and its importance to you to reach your ideal weight.  Here are the changes I’ve made over the years to my meal planning.

    • 2004:  Eat the same foods daily through weight loss with minor variations at dinner.  The intent was to reduce the stress of meal planning to focus on the food and to wean myself off of tempting foods.
    • 2005:  Avoid dining out as much as possible.  The intent was to eliminate all tempting foods and large portion sizes as I learned to keep my weight off.
    • 2006:  Excel used for meal planning with daily updates.  The intent was to know my numbers at all times to stay within my allotted calorie range.
    • 2008:  Allow flexibility in my meal planning.  The intent was to include unexpected events such as personal emergencies, work related events, traveling, etc.
    • 2013:  Complete meal plans for one week or one month at a time.  The intent is to eliminate daily decision making for meals and reduce time planning meals.

    Well, I hope sharing this meal planning evolution with you helps you glean some ideas for your individual plan.  Who knows where my meal planning will evolve to next.  No doubt, something virtual or maybe someone can do it for me!  The important lesson I learned was to plan meals and stick to the plan consistently.  Stay tuned as I share the next evolution of meal planning.

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    Click here to learn more about The Best Way to Lose Weight (and Keep it Off!) Program. 

    Stay at Home Mom Tips

      

    As a young woman, I was not a stay at home mom.  Necessity forced me to seek a career outside the home.  While I loved my career as a Registered Nurse, there were many times I felt guilty that I could not be a stay at home mom.  I also felt stress about childcare and balancing quality time with work.  As an emotional eater, this guilt and stress greatly contributed to my weight problem of 280 pounds. 

    Stay at Home Mom Experience

    boy holding onto his mother picture

    Stay at Home Mom

    Now as a grandmother I get to try the stay at home mom experience.  I will be the first to admit, it isn’t easy!  I should clarify, it isn’t easy when you are trying to work at home.  Working at home brings its own challenges.  See if you can relate.

    • Family interference
    • Difficulty focusing while the laundry piles up
    • Planning videotaping sessions around the grass cutting and kids playing in the neighborhood
    • Staying organized in your home office

    Stay at Home Mom Tips

    Whether you are a stay at home mom or a grandmother that gets to try the experience for the second time around, the following tips can help improve your experience.

    • Put your children first.  Children are interesting in that they get their needs met.   Unfortunately, when stay at home moms try to get things done, that is when children make their needs known the loudest.  The good news is that children have simple needs.  Feeding, hygiene, play, and sleep are the basic needs for children.   Stay at home moms that put the needs of their children first know this frees time to complete personal, business, and household tasks later in the day.
    • Establish routines.  People thrive on consistency and habits.  Habits make us feel safe and secure.  Children are no exception to this rule.  Once you know the basic needs of your child, establish daily routines children can adapt to.  Establishing routines for feeding, play, and sleep will ease the chaos and stress of on-demand attention from unmet needs.  Routines are important also for your personal health such as eating right and exercise that aids your ideal weight goals.
    • Know the expected milestone for your child and plan accordingly.  There are so many resources available on parenting and milestone expectations.  While each child is different, stay at home moms can better plan daily routines when they are informed about the normal milestones for their children.  Taking time to understand your child’s milestone and then planning learning activities and tasks accordingly will help ease stress and make your job easier.
    • Take advantage of support.  Support is essential for everyone and it is equally important for stay at home moms.  Asking a friend or loved one to help on occasion is good for you and your children.  A break for mom from the children is beneficial for all. 
    • Take care of you.  Your needs are important.  Your health needs are very important to your children.  By taking care of you and your health, you will feel better, have more energy, and live longer.  A double-win for you and your children.

    While my stay at home mom experience is a little different as a grandmother, I wouldn’t trade it for the world.  As a work at home entrepreneur who also has the opportunity to spend quality time with her grandchild several days each week, I found these tips to be quite helpful in maintaining a healthy lifestyle for me and my family. 

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    Click here to learn more about The Best Way to Lose Weight (and Keep it Off!) Program.

     

    8 Tips to Avoid Gym Germs

      

    As a former Infection Control Registered Nurse, I never thought I would worry about gym germs.  Lately, I’ve proven myself wrong.  I noticed over the past year that gravity was not my friend!  In short, I noticed a loss of muscle tone.  For years through weight loss and maintenance I’ve faithfully followed my exercise program.  But lately I noticed I needed more.  With a gradual loss of muscle tone I knew I was facing 2 problems as I age.  Most importantly, lean tissue such as bone and muscle contributes to overall basal metabolic rate.  Basal metabolic rate determines the amount of daily calories needed for basic body function.  Fat is passive tissue and waits around to be used for fuel.  However, bone and muscle are active tissue that helps burn calories.  Secondly, I wasn’t happy with my appearance.  While my weight stayed the same, I could see the effects of gravity.  In short, too many areas were sagging for my personal standards. 

    It Was Time to Take Action

    I tried a rowing machine and that helped but only a little.  I quickly mastered the machine and I needed more.  I knew I needed to start a strength training routine.  My husband likes to lift heavy weights and he had been hinting to go back to the gym.  Personally, I never liked gyms.  To me gyms are stinky, I hate to wait around to use the gym equipment, and they are full of gym germs.  Yet, I could not deny the fact that I needed to do something.  I agreed to shop around for a gym we both liked.

    Gym Shopping

    At this stage in my life I have specific reasons I want a gym.  See if you can relate.

    woman walking on treadmill

    Avoid Gym Germs

    • Convenience of location and hours
    • Cost
    • Cleanliness

    That’s it.  In my earlier years I wanted more features like dance classes, a pool, racquet ball courts, and indoor walking tracks.  Now I only want to get in and get out quickly and I do not want to pay a lot.  By far the most important feature to me is cleanliness.  From my health care experience and the media, there are simply too many gym germs to ignore.  MRSA, athlete’s feet from showers, and the possibility of scabies from gym equipment are gym germs I want to avoid.

    Tips to Avoid Gym Germs

    I am happy to say that we found a gym we both agreed on at an affordable price.  The gym is close to home, has convenient hours, and most importantly is clean.  Although I’ve only gone to the gym a couple of times, I noticed I cleanliness was not enough.  I needed to research some ways to avoid gym germs.  If you are concerned about gym germs like I am, try these tips I use.

    • Avoid the shower because it is a breeding ground for athlete’s feet
    • Bring your own disinfectant wipes and use them before and after using each piece of gym equipment
    • Wash your hands immediately after your work out before you leave the gym
    • Use washable antimicrobial gloves to avoid contact with gym germs left on equipment
    • Never share personal items
    • Change your clothes as soon as you get home
    • Wash your clothes between workouts
    • Shower at home after each work out

    While there are more ways to avoid gym germs, I find these tips work best for me.  Staying healthy at any age is important.  Following these simple tips can help you avoid gym germs and keep you healthy. 

    Okay, back to the gym.

    Georgene

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    Control Time When You Work at Home

      

    Shoe Money system logo 

    One of the greatest pleasures to work at home is flexibility of time.  Most importantly, I have the ability to control my time.  When I worked as a Registered Nurse, my employer controlled my time.  Rightfully so, my job demanded my presence during business hours.  Also, as a hospital administrator I shared an on call rotation.  This meant I needed to take 24-hour responsibility for the hospital once or twice each month.  To say I had little control over my time as an employee is an understatement.

    As an online business owner, the benefit to control my time became apparent to me over the past month as I juggled life’s challenges.  Within one month, my father was hospitalized, I needed to travel outside the state for a family crisis, and I was needed to watch my grandson, Gavin, while his baby sister, Addison, was being born.  To say I needed to practice emotional management through these challenges is an understatement!  At 280 pounds, these challenges used to drive me to eat! 

    As an employee, I never could have taken the time to handle these challenges.  The opportunity to work at home affords me the benefit of controlling my time.  Control of my time allows me to balance family, my healthy lifestyle, and to be of service to others that need my help. 

    When I made the decision to work at home, I experienced a steep learning curve.  That is until I was introduced to the Shoe Money System.  The Shoe Money System showed me how to cut legitimate corners and start my work at home business.  If you desire to work at home and want to know where to start, I encourage you to explore the Shoe Money System.  You can learn more about the benefits and why I use the Shoe Money System by following this link. ’

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    Becoming a Registered Nurse Changed My Life!

      

    Becoming a registered nurse was one of the best decisions of my life.  Although I started my working career as a cosmetologist, I struggled with career satisfaction until I became a registered nurse.  The opportunities that I experienced as a registered nurse were all positive.  If you have a desire to help people and improve your life, read on to learn more about the benefits of becoming a registered nurse. 

    The Moment I Knew

    Picture of Registered Nurse symbol and RN initials

    Registered Nurse Career

    I’ll be the first to admit, hair coloring was not my strength.  I turned my cousin’s hair pink, my mother’s hair blue, and my hair orange.  As a professional beautician, this color challenge left me limited in my earning potential!  While I was an excellent hair cutter and fast perm roller, the rest of my beauty skills left a lot to be desired.

    Still I worked for 8 years as a hair dresser and for the most part I was happy.  But hard economic times hit me and my family and I had to make a serious career decision.  My sister helped me secure a temporary job in a local hospital and this began my health care career.  I worked in the business office and I rather enjoyed it.  I trained in business in high school and the office allowed me to use many skills.  The job lasted around 3 months at which time I won a bid on a Unit Secretary job on a medical-surgical floor.  I loved that job!  I used my business skills but I was also in the day to day clinical action.  I was fascinated by everything.  One day I witnessed a group of health care professionals come together to save a person’s life.  It was at that moment that I knew I wanted to become a registered nurse.

    The Path to Nursing was Challenging

    To say attending college at age 26 was challenging is an understatement.  I was fearful of my ability to succeed, I had 2 small children, I was living check to check, and my husband and I were pulling us out of a major financial setback.  Yet, everything worked out in my favor.  In fact, thinking back, I hardly remember anything going wrong.  Because of our financial position, I received grants that paid for my first degree.  Child care was a challenge but my husband and I traded off by working different shifts.  My parents also helped with babysitting.  Studying was a challenge until I established a system where I went to sleep at the same time as my children and then I set my alarm for 2 a.m. to get up and study before I went to class.  It just seemed as though these challenges were minor because I so desired to become a registered nurse.

    It all Paid Off

    Becoming a Registered Nurse changed my entire life.  Nursing is holistic.  You learn every aspect about people and society through registered nurse training.  Also, because nurses are in demand, they always work and the pay is excellent.  In addition, there are so many avenues to explore in nursing that you never get bored.  For me, becoming a registered nurse yielded great payoffs.  Financially, my standard of living improved 100%.  Personally, I was able to learn more about me and my environment.  As my knowledge grew and I expanded to other areas of health care, I was able to improve many gaps in my thinking and habits.  These improvements help me every day become a better person.  By far, this is the greatest payoff of becoming a Registered Nurse.

    I encourage everyone who has a desire to help others to become a registered nurse.  If you want to learn about people, health, and society and help others, then becoming a registered nurse is the career for you.  Most importantly, as a registered nurse you can improve your life in ways you never imaged.  As you improve your life and help others improve, you help advance society, and you live on purpose.

    Is Your Exercise Equipment Cheating Your Weight Loss Efforts?

      

    If you’ve followed my weight loss and weight management journey you know that I use standard exercise equipment. I switch my routine with different exercise equipment daily.  I have also made many changes over the past 8 years while in weight control after my obesity.  Over the years I learned an interesting fact about standard exercise equipment.  Read on to learn more.

    LIVESTRONG Fitness Treadmills

    How Your Exercise Equipment May Undermine Youexercise equipment image

    Exercise equipment like treadmills and elliptical machines usually have calorie gauges to help you calculate your efforts.  These gauges rely on the standard exercise equipment measurement rule.  I relied on these gauges while I lost weight.  At 280 pounds, the measurement seemed accurate.  However, I learned along my weight control journey that all standard exercise equipment relies on a rule that may undermine your weight loss success. 

    This rule notes that calorie measures on standard exercise equipment are for an average 150 pound person.  While this rule is fine if you are over 150 pounds, some adjustment needs to be made if you are less than 150 pounds.  This is because body weight determines calories spent during exercise.  It takes more effort and energy to move a larger mass or body size.

    How to Work with the Exercise Equipment Rule

    If you rely on the measure gauge of standard exercise equipment to calculate your daily calorie needs, you may want to make some adjustments for accuracy.  When I weighed 280 pounds the rule hardly affected me.  In fact, the rule played in my favor.  Because I weighed nearly double the standard weight of 150, I actually burned nearly twice the amount of displayed calories.  Since I only used the amount on the display, the extra calories burned were in my favor and quickened my weight loss.  However, at less than 150 calories, there are adjustments to be made.  The adjustment I made is to take the percentage of 150 pounds at my current weight.  For example 135 is 90% of the standard weight rate on exercise equipment of 150 pounds.  Therefore, anytime I use exercise equipment, I adjust the total calories displayed by 90% for the amount of actual calories I burned during my workout.

    It’s All About the Numbers

    I realize this seems like some extra work but weight loss and weight control rely on science.  This science includes calories in must be less than calories out.  Truly, it’s all about the numbers and accurate measurement can make a difference in your weight loss and weight control efforts.

    Click here for the “It’s All About the Numbers” post.

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    4 Work from Home Tips for Your Success

      

    While the decision may challenge you, it is important to know some work from home tips to avoid pitfalls and ensure your success.   Here are 4work from home tips from personal experience you can use. 

    Shoe

    Tip #1  Research your home business opportunity thoroughly.  There are many scams on the Internet that promise the world and fall seriously short on delivery.  Conduct thorough research on the opportunity before investing time or money.  Complete a Google or Bing search on the company and include the term “scam” or “review”.  Take time in the beginning and protect yourself.  As with weight loss, there is no fast way to thinness or riches!

    successful business woman image

    Work from Home

    Tip #2 Consult a tax attorney early in the process.  While there are tax advantages to working from home, the tax laws are very specific about the space you dedicate in your home to your business.  For example, if you use a converted bedroom to work from home, you cannot use anything in the room for personal reasons.  For example, you could not use your office closet to store your clothes between seasons.  Checking with an accountant early will help you avoid serious financial mistakes in the long run.

    Tip #3 Establish Routines.  The thought of working from home is exciting when you are stuck in the rut of your job.  Yet, your job offers something you can use in your work from home business; a routine.  It is important to establish routines early in your work from home venture to avoid working all day and night.  While you may feel discomfort when you take some down time, it is important to schedule blocks of time for dedicated work and personal tasks. 

    Tip #4 Get Healthy and Stay There.  Stress is a part of every job and this includes when you work from home.  Work from home stresses include variations in workload and income, family interruptions, and staying focused on work with the laundry piling up.  While establishing routines and communicating to your family the need to stop interrupting will help, you also need to ensure you are healthy to deal with the stress.  Establishing good eating and exercise habits will improve your stamina and your ability to deal with the stress you may face when you work from home.

    Once you decide to work from home, you will find yourself adjusting to the change.  Yet, many women find working from home rewarding and accommodating to their family responsibilities.  These simple tips can help you avoid many challenges that could cost you precious time and money in the end. 

    Click here to learn about the system that helped me in my online business.

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    Think Right Now for Weight Loss

      

    In 2004, I stumbled on Think Right Now for weight loss.  But my reason for using Think Right Now for weight loss was not what you might suspect.  It’s not because I didn’t believe in Think Right Now for weight loss.  No, I love Think Right Now products.  I simply used an opposite approach in 2004 for weight loss than I did in the past.  This opposite approach included Think Right Now for weight loss but in a different way.  Read on to learn why I recommend Think Right Now for all areas of your life!

    As I teach in weight management, never forget the basics.  The basics for any new goal  always starts from within.  Once you go inside and self-explore your personal reason for your goal, the real challenge begins.  At least that is my experience.  Once I commit to a new goal is when I notice the self-doubts begin to rise.

    Do You Have Those Doubts?

    Do you have that?  You know, those doubts we carry every day.  That noise that chirps in your head saying “are you crazy”?  “You left your job for this”?  “You’ve never kept your weight off more than a week; do you really think this time will be different”?

    Need I go on?  We all have that little voice.  And the older we get, the louder that voice becomes.  It is the voice of reason that tries to keep us safe.  But you and I are different.  Sure, we don’t want to make stupid mistakes like we did when we were young and naive.  Those days are over.  But we want a life.  We also want to try new experiences.  And we want to believe that we can succeed in whatever we try.

    Back to Basics

    Well, this week I went back to my basics.  I turned to the one program that always helps me recondition that negative little voice.  The program I turned to is Think Right Now.  I used Think Right Now for weight loss but in a very different way than you might imagine.  I stumbled on the Think Right Now products when I was looking for an answer to my panic attacks.  I had horrible anxiety to the point where it took a lot of courage to leave the house some days.  As a registered nurse, suffering from panic attacks was a real problem for me.  I had to find a way to overcome them.

    stressed person image

    Stress!

    I hated the fact that I self-medicated with food whenever I felt panic and stress.  I was so excited to find the Think Right Now products.  Mike Brescia, the creator of the products is amazing.  His story is truly a rags to riches success story and his honesty shone through.  I also was very impressed with the science behind the programs.

    I started with the panic and anxiety discs and eventually I bought everything!  I still have many of the original discs.  I don’t need them as much anymore.  My weight is stable, my self-esteem is high, and my panic attacks are gone.

    But I use the computer program faithfully and I update it with every new significant goal.  I change my scripts to fit the goals I create.  Then I apply music and I let the scripts and the music run while I work on my computer.

    I notice a huge change right away.  I begin to feel confident that I can achieve my goal.  Most importantly, I notice I am more focused.  I like the Think Right Now products because they are not subliminal.  You hear and see every message.  No the technology behind Think Right Now is used in education to help people learn quickly.  Check out Think Right Now for weight loss and other areas of your life.  Let me know what you think by posting a comment.  You can also contact me here.

    I’m amazed at the results and now after 9 years of using the Think Right Now programs, I am happy to share my success with you.

    Well back to work,

    Georgene

     

     

    5 Holiday Eating Tips to Avoid Cheating

      

    Remembering my weight loss days, having holiday eating tips would have helped me stay on track,.  Since maintaining my ideal weight after 8 years, I know how hard it is to stick to your plan during holidays.  Back in the days when I weighed 280 pounds, I would cheat on holidays.  All those tempting high fat foods were hard to resist.  Now, holiday foods no longer control me.  If I want to eat them, I do. 

    I couldn’t always say that though.  During my weight loss, I avoided holidays!  Yes, I turned down all social events in 2004 because I had no clue how to manage my temptations to those delicious holiday foods!

    What changed you may ask?  Well, I knew I could not stay in isolation forever so I gathered some holiday eating tips along the way.  I am happy to share my holiday eating tips with you. 

    Holiday Eating Tips to Stay on Your Weight Loss Plan

    Picture of holiday gift package

    Holiday Eating Tips
    Pixelperfectdigital.com

    Holiday Eating Tip 1:  Plan Ahead.  Weight loss is all about planning.  We plan our meals around our calorie allowance and we plan our exercise around the amount of time we have.  Holidays and social events are the same.  Planning ahead includes learning what’s on the menu and preparing your meal plan to allow for treats you really want.  If you learn nothing there are too many tempting foods, bring a healthy dish for everyone to enjoy.

    Holiday Eating Tip 2:  Practice Portion Control.  I’ve always been jealous of those people with fast metabolisms.  Men, especially with all their muscle seem to eat whatever they want.  That’s never been my luxury!  Sure, I ate whatever I wanted in any quantity and that’s how I stayed morbidly obese for most of my life.  Weight loss and weight management are all about portion control.  This is especially true during holidays.  Sampling the tasty treats is healthy and reduces binges often experienced with deprivation diets.  Give yourself permission to try small portion sizes of your favorite holiday foods without guilt!

    Holiday Eating Tip 3:  Remember the BIG WHY!  Your personal reasons for reaching your ideal weight are all that matter.  Sure, you may respect the opinion of others even to the point where you start a diet but that type of motivation never lasts.  Trust me, I know.  I had plenty of outside motivation from my family and friends for the majority of my life and I still stayed overweight.  It is important to reflect each day on the real reason you want to reach and keep your ideal weight.  This is especially true during stressful holidays as well.

    Holiday Eating Tip 4:  Commit to Your Personal Plan.  My personal experience and professional research showed the best weight loss plan is unique to you.  Whether you eat one or six meals a day, it is important that you follow your unique plan every day, including holidays.  While you may choose to adjust the foods you eat to allow for holiday treats, it is important to stay true to your personalized plan.

    Holiday Eating Tip 5:  Forgive and Forget.  Most everyone strives to forgive and forget what others do to us, however, this is important to practice for us as well.  If you slip up and overeat on the holiday, forgive yourself, forget it, and get right back on track.  Learn from your mistake, let it go, and don’t make a slip a fall!

    Regardless of what holiday you celebrate, these simple holiday eating tips can help you stay true to your plan and your commitment to your ideal weight while staying social.

    3 Stress Eating Tips to Help You Gain Weight Control

      

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    Stress Eating on Pasta (Courtesy of Pixel Perfect Digital)

    Stress eating was a normal way of life for me at 280 pounds.  This past week brought flashbacks of my stress eating days. 

    The biggest issue was the server migration by my hosting company.  If you tried to access the site from over the past week only to get timed out, I truly apologize.  My hosting company was recently purchased and part of the acquisition was to migrate to the new servers. 

    Weight Management for Women got lost in the shuffle!  Everything is fixed now and the site is running better than ever.

    Stress eating is very normal.  While I do not have the exact statistics, I would venture to say that most overweight adults eat as a response to stress.  Food serves a natural biological need, it is readily available, and it tastes good!  All the right fixings to comfort us fast.  However, you can control stress eating with these simple tips.

    Stress Eating

    Stress Eating on Candy (Courtesy of Pixel Perfect Digital)

    Stress Eating Tips

    1.        Schedule at least 5 eating events daily.  Eating events rather than meals are nourishment times you schedule throughout your day.  Your intake can be a meal but it can also be a snack or a protein shake.  Eating events provide you with nourishment to maintain a stable blood sugar.  This is important to ward of those cravings that lead to excess eating.

    2.       Control your caffeine intake.  Everyone knows caffeine causes the jitters.  Sometimes these jitters or nervous sensations are misinterpreted as stress.  If you are like I was, I looked for food to calm my nerves.  Avoid this type of bodily cue by reducing your caffeine intake.

    3.       Relax and get restful sleep.  Relaxation and sleep are important to an ideal weight.  Relaxation is especially important to ward off stress to reach your ideal weight.  Lack of rest and sleep is also a stressor on your body.  The hormone, Cortisol, is released during times stress.  Cortisol is responsible for keeping weight on even when you are sticking to your weight loss plan.  In essence all your efforts could be for nothing if you are too stressed and releasing excess Cortisol.  Try relaxation techniques such as guided imagery or listening to soft music to relax and induce sleep.

    These are tips I found useful to lose my 145 pounds and I continue to use them in maintenance.  I hope you find them helpful.  Jot me an e-mail with tips you use to reduce or eliminate stress eating.

    Take care,

    Georgene

    Exercise Bores Me!

      
    Exercise Maintains Your Ideal Weight

    Exercise Maintains Your Ideal Weight

    If you are like me, you find exercise boring.  Yes, I like the benefits of exercise but the task is boring.  Exercise is especially boring after 8 years of maintaining my 145 pound weight loss since 2005.  Yet I exercise faithfully 5 days each week as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control.

    Benefits of Exercise

    Exercise affords me many things like:

    • Peace of mind from worry about chronic diseases
    • Circulation to help me think clearer
    • Stress reduction
    • Strength and stamina
    • Ability to indulge without guilt

    You may have many more benefits of exercise and that is important.  My research showed individual weight loss programs lead to better success stories than those “one size fits all” plans.

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    Exercise Motivation

    Today I did my normal routine.  10 minutes on the Treadmill, 30 minutes on the Elliptical, 10 more minutes on the Treadmill and then toning on my rower.  I previously blogged about this routine due to my Plantar Fasciitis issue.  I am happy to report improvement in my foot so I know the routine is helping.  Most everyone knows I currently use the Live Strong Elliptical.  I’ve had it for about 3 years and I really like it. You can learn more here about LIVESTRONG Fitness Ellipticals.

    Well while rowing today I turned on VH1.  I do that every so often to catch up on the latest videos.  I saw an excellent video by the Back Street Boys called The Remix.  I loved it! You can check it out on VH1.
    Let me know what you think. For me, I rowed longer than normal as I got lost in the music! Well, I “banked” some calories for another day!


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    Have a great day and remember I’ve been there!

    How Does a Rowing Machine Help with Weight Control?

      

    I just finished using my rowing machine and some thoughts came to mind of how you can use a rowing machine for weight control.

    Sagging Skin & Muscle Tone

    This decade of my life is bringing many physical changes.  One change I struggle with is muscle toning.  I struggle with this area for two reasons.  First, I really do not like muscle toning exercises.  Sure, logically, I know I need to do them.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends strength-building exercises at least 2 or more days per week.  My issue is time.  I like exercise programs that are efficient.  Before my hamstring injury in 2010 my favorite exercise routine was running on my treadmill.  Running provided toning and aerobic exercise in one.  A DOUBLE-WIN!  But running is no longer an option for me.    

    My previous weight of 280 pounds is the second reason I struggle with muscle toning.  The after-effects of weight loss depend on a couple of issues.  The first issue is the age at the time of weight loss.  Losing weight before 40 usually produces better muscle and skin tone.  The effects of gravity on the body are more severe after the age of 40.    

    The second issue is the length of time someone is overweight.  The elasticity of skin reduces the longer someone is overweight. The extra subcutaneous fat stretches the skin.  The longer someone is overweight the ability of the skin to return to a normal state decreases.  This leads to more difficulty in toning sagging skin.  At my current age of over 50 and losing weight after 40, I notice the repercussions of obesity; even in my eighth year of maintaining my 145 pound weight loss.

     Toning Solution

    To summarize my problem, I needed to find an efficient way to tone the back of my arms.  My biceps developed nicely over the years but it was time to tackle that sagging skin under my arms.  My research and solution let me to a rowing machine.  I found and purchased the Stamina Orbital Rower 1215.  I’ve had the rowing machine for about a month and I notice an improvement in toning all over my body, especially my arms and my middle area. 

     Benefits of Rowing Machine

    Here are some reasons I am happy with the Stamina Orbital Rower 1215:

    • Easy to assemble (at least that’s what my hubby said)
    • Compact and foldable for easy storage
    • Engages all muscle groups
    • Hydraulic design for ease on joints
    • Thick padded seat
    • Monitor device for calories, speed, distance, miles per hour, stroke count
    • Adjustable height and resistance for added conditioning
    • Mimics real life rowing*

     

    St. Croix Anniversary Story

    St. Croix

    Happy 25th Anniversary in St. Croix

    *This last reason reminds me of a great time in my life.  Thank you for allowing me to share my anniversary and rowing story.  My husband and I celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary in St. Croix.  Here is a picture of us.  We decided to kayak on a guided tour.  On the way back, I noticed the rowing became harder and harder.  When I turned around, I saw my husband with his legs perched on the seat between us and his arms behind his head!  He took a break and I was doing all the rowing!  We laugh about this now and he continues to deny it.  Husbands! 

    Well, the Orbital Rower 1215 by Stamina offers enough resistance to produce the results I need; an efficient exercise to tone my arms.  Toning my middle section is an added benefit!   Give the Stamina Orbital Rower 1215 a try.  I bought mine at Amazon.  Once you try the Stamina Orbital Rower 1215, let us know what you think at the comment section below. 

    Diabetes Treatment is Often Too Late!

      

     

     

    Knowing the signs of diabetes early in the disease can make a difference in the quality of life, yet many individuals postpone diabetes treatment because the onset of symptoms is gradual and often undetected until permanent damage is done. According to the American Diabetic Association, almost 10% of the population has diabetes. Yet this does not account for the 7 million people that are undiagnosed and the 79 million people that have pre-diabetes. Further 12.6 million or nearly 11percent of women over the age of 20 are known to have diabetes. Diabetes affects every bodily system, both inside and out. If you know you have the disease then you can safely follow your diabetes treatment. If you are unsure, then you want to follow up with your doctor as soon as possible for testing. Waiting to start diabetes treatment is dangerous and can lead to serious complications and death.

    Diabetes TreatmentInsulin Injection

    Type 1 and Insulin

    Let’s discuss Diabetes Treatment. Overall diabetes treatment relies on weight management, proper nutrition, and exercise. These are foundational to good health regardless of the disease. More specifically, diabetes treatment depends on the type. For Type 1, the diabetes treatment is insulin replacement through injections. The patient can self-inject the insulin or wear an insulin pump that continuously provides a pre-set amount of insulin. Adjustments to the amount of insulin may be needed depending on the person’s intake of calories above the recommended daily amount.

    Type 2 Classifications of Oral Medications

    For Type 2, usually oral medication is recommended. However, depending on your resistance level, your doctor may prescribe oral medication along with insulin injections. There are many classes of oral medication available for diabetes treatment. Two classes of medications stimulate beta cells of the pancreas to release insulin. Common medications in these classes include Glucotrol, Micronaise, Glynaise, and Diabeta, Prandin and Starlix. Another class of diabetes medications decreases sugar production by the liver. Another feature of this class of medications is that they help increase muscle sensitivity for better sugar absorption. Metformin or Glucophage is the most common medication under this classification. Another classification works on the liver to reduce sugar production but also works on the fat and muscle tissue. This classification carries the highest risk of side effects including liver and heart complications. The most common drugs in this classification are Avandia and Actos. The Alpha-glucosidase inhibitors work more directly with the breakdown of starches and carbohydrates. Common names for this classification of diabetes treatment include Precose and Glyset. Abdominal side effects may occur including diarrhea and bloating. The DPP-4 inhibitors are a relatively new class of diabetes treatment and work by blocking the destruction of an essential compound in the body known as GLP-1. This essential compound is needed to breakdown sugar for better usage. DDP-4 inhibitors block the breakdown of This essential compound allowing it to remain active longer. Januvia and Onglyza are two medications under this classification.

    Your doctor may also prescribe combination therapy of oral medications. This combination treatment is often recommended for insulin resistance.

    Gestational Diabetes Treatment

    For Gestational diabetes, your doctor will prescribe a healthy eating plan and may recommend increasing your activity level. You may need insulin injections as well.

    Glucose TabletsMonitoring Recommendations

    It is important to remember that insulin and these oral medications may cause abnormally low blood sugars. The American diabetes association recently published the updated guidelines for more frequent monitoring of blood sugars. This is especially important before driving or performing other critical activities.

    Prevention

    In closing prevention is always the best strategy. Prevention of the disease is the best outcome. Prevention of any disease depends on proper weight management. Weight management is possible with the right plan and strategy for you. Take some time today to work on your weight management plan to achieve optimal health for life!

    How are Diets and Antibiotics Related? Hint: It’s Not Health & Nutrition!

      

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    The blog this week is about health and nutrition and healthy foods. 

    Health and nutrition are often overlooked key indicators to successful weight management.  While many believe a diet will fix their weight, in reality diets cause more harm than good.  Diets are void of healthy foods and threaten weight loss motivation.  Worse, diets can lead to resistance to positive healthy habits.    This is the reason diets are like antibiotics.  They both lead to resistance!

    You see just as using the wrong antibiotic can lead to resistant germs, the wrong diet can lead to weight management resistance!  When you try to solve your weight problem with the wrong plan, say a fad diet, you set yourself up for failure.   Think about it.  How many fad diets have you tried?  How many were successful long term?  If you are reading this post or watching this video, probably none were successful at achieving health and nutrition for you. 

     I am hardly judging you.  Remember I once weighed 280 pounds.  I also tried every fad diet in over 25 years of experiencing obesity.  Each time I failed I became more skeptical about the next time I tried to lose weight.   In essence, I developed a type of resistance to dieting.  Each time I failed, it seemed harder and harder to find weight loss motivation.  I believed there was something wrong with me.  After all everyone else succeeded on eating cabbage soup all day.   What was my problem?     

    In reality, you do not need another diet.  You’ll just become more resistant.  No, you need a sound health and nutrition plan and program that provides healthy foods that nourishes your body. 

    Source CDC

    Health and Nutrition Program

    Rather than trying another diet which carries a start and stop date, think long term.  Weight management is for life and you want to begin thinking about the positive habits that support your ideal weight.  While it is true that weight loss is simply the first phase of weight management, as you establish the basics now, you will reinforce the healthy habits by practicing them over time.  Each time you practice these habits, like eating healthy foods over junk food, you reinforce the habit.  After a few weeks of feeling good from your health and nutrition program, you will notice these habits are second nature and soon you will forget the unhealthy habits you released.  Your weight loss motivation will grow as you notice your wonderful new body too!

    Just like you want the right treatment when you are sick to get better faster, you want the right health and nutrition program to achieve weight management for life.  My research and my personal experience showed that your health and nutrition program must be unique to you for long term results.   Once I found my perfect match, I was amazed at the amount of energy and stamina I have to achieve all my goals.  Energy and stamina can be yours with the right health and nutrition program! 

    This leads me to the tip of the week.  

     

    Health Coach versus Traditional Therapy

      

     

    Health Coaching is Different from Therapy

    When I began my health coaching practice I needed to educate my clients on the difference between my services and Traditional Therapy.  While many believe they are similar, Health Coaching and Traditional Therapy are not the same.    Briefly, health coaches focus forward and guide clients to optimal health whereas Traditional Therapy explores the past and is often more directive in nature.  

    While many believe they are similar, Health Coaching and Traditional Therapy are not the same. The following shows the differences between Health Coaching and Traditional Therapy.

    iStock_000021693015XSmall

    Health Coaches

    • Guide clients to find their own answers
    • Focus on clarity and motivation
    • Assist the client with envisioning the future opportunities
    • Educate the client on goal setting and action planning
    • Listen and question the client to foster self-discovery
    • Consider only the client and with an emphasis on mind, body, and lifestyle
    • Work with clients short-term on specific goals
    • Hold the client accountable to goals
    • May or may not be licensed professionals
    • Training varies
    • Services are usually not covered by insurance

     

    Traditional Therapists

    • Focus on the problem
    • Analyze the past
    • Are licensed professionals
    • Are accountable to a professional organization or state of licensure
    • May use coaching principles
    • Work with clients long-term
    • Considers external influences that impact the client such as relationships
    • May prescribe medications
    • Assess and Diagnose
    • Earn a degree in specialty of practice
    • Services are usually covered by insurance

    Which One Should You Use?

    You may wonder why you should use a health coach over a traditional therapist.  That is a great question.  Many clients use both.  Health coaches can help you reach your goals quickly.  Whether you want to lose weight or improve your compliance with your disease, consider the benefits of working with a competent health coach.  Optimal health is essential to achieve your goals.  Optimal health begins with proper weight management.

    Free Health Coaching

    If you would like to know more about free health coaching with me, call me at 219-558-0493.  I look forward to speaking with you. 

    Sleep Aids are Addicting! Try These Natural Sleep Aids to Sleep Tight!

      

    Stretching WomanSleep and Your Weight

    By now, most have heard of the benefits of sleep and you may even rely on sleep aids to improve your sleep.  Mood regulation, alertness, safety in performing routine tasks, and adequate memory are several benefits of good sleep habits.  Even the benefits of sleep and weight control is becoming common knowledge.   The importance of adequate amounts of sleep to ward off those next day munchies due to appetite regulating hormones released during sleep is also well-known.   Sleep plays a vital role regulating every body system including blood pressure, breathing, cellular repair, energy levels, immune system, and body weight.  According to Dr. Merrill Mitler at the National Institutes of Health, a serious ill-effect of lack of sleep mimics the diabetic condition.  Although you may understand the importance of adequate sleep and strive for the recommended healthy amount, achieving a restful period of 6 to 8 hours every night may not be possible.

    At times you may choose to rely on sleep aids to improve your sleep.  There are many types of sleep aids you can rely on including prescription and over the counter medications.  Yet these types of sleep aids are addicting and often come with a high price to your health including insomnia!  The main problem you are trying to avoid.

    Causes of Poor Quality SleepSleeping Woman

    Striving for high quality and quantity sleep is admirable and a mission worth pursuing!  On your mission to sleep tight, you may want to consider a two-prong approach.  The first prong consists of eliminating or avoiding stimulants.  Coffee, alcohol, and nicotine are common stimulants that play havoc on your mission to improve your sleep.  The current recommendation is to eliminate nicotine altogether and limit use of any stimulant to before noon.  Stimulating activities to avoid within 2 hours of bedtime include exercise, a large meal, bright lights, and overuse of technology.  Finally, avoid excess fluids within two hours of bedtime to eliminate the use of the bathroom after bedtime.  Frequent awakening due to a full bladder is disruptive to your sleep as well.

    Natural Sleep Aids

    This leads to the second prong approach, natural sleep aids that induce a restful night.  The first recommended natural sleep aid, according to the National Institutes of Health, is to establish routines for bedtime and to awaken.  It is important to maintain this routine every day, including the weekends.  Next, ensure your bedroom is comfortable and cool.  The use of room darkening shades and temperatures around 68 degrees are natural sleep aids that induce a restful night.  Remember to use your bed for sleep and sex only!  Avoid all other activities in your bed including eating, watching television, or playing games.  Finally, exercise routines early in the day contribute to restful sleep.  A natural sleep aid recommended by many doctors is Melatonin.   Melatonin is naturally occurring in many foods; however, levels decrease with age.  Check with your doctor to see if taking supplemental Melatonin is a good sleep aid for you.

     

    Here are some natural sleep aids for you to consider for your healthy lifestyle!  I love sound machines.  I use them for traveling and at home.  Before I used a sound machine I used to wake up in the middle of the night and binge!  The sound machine was instrumental in helping me fall and stay asleep.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Reference:  National Institutes of Health (NIH).   The Benefits of Slumber:  Why You Need a Good Night’s Sleep

     

    Weight Control is Challenging Unless You Know These Support Tips!

      

     

    Weight control after weight loss depends on many factors.  At 280 pounds, I thought I only needed to worry about diet and exercise.  During the year of my weight loss, I rarely thought about support.  I was determined to find a way to control my weight and I set out to achieve this by myself.

    In my Health Coach practice, finding support during weight control is often a game changer.  If you are working on weight control you may experience confusion at times when others do not support you or worst, sabotage you.

    Support is Essential to Weight Control

    Support is Essential to Weight Control

    Who Supports You?

    Support is critical to weight control.  Yet with two-thirds of the population overweight, your source of support may be limited.  If others around you struggle with their weight, as the majority of the population, you may wonder about the reason behind their lack of weight loss motivation.  In reality, not everyone is ready or willing to lose weight.  Losing weight is a personal choice and you need not feel isolated as I did during my journey.  My isolation was a result of others not understanding my obese journey or the long weight loss journey ahead of me.  Unless others know your weight struggle, it is difficult to relate and support you.   

    You see, reaching your ideal weight especially after years or decades of overweight or obesity, is about personal growth.  You will grow as you let go of unhealthy habits.  You will also grow as you relearn habits that support your ideal weight.    Growth is about change.  Change is often scary for you and others that are comfortable with your current size and habits.

    What Will Stop You?

    The question is do you let the lack of support  stop you?  Absolutely not!  While we like to fit in with others, fitting in must be sensible and never at the cost of your health.  If you are ready to lose weight and others are not, say your spouse, it is important to establish rules to help you during vulnerable times.  Here are some tips to receive the support you need.

    • Know the type of support you need and develop a plan.
    • Determine who can provide the type of support you need
    • Communicate with the important people in your life that you need their support.  Asking for support may make you feel vulnerable when it is actually a sign of inner strength.
    • Establish expectations for your support person as well as for you.  An example is that you will not get angry with your husband when he reminds you not to eat another cookie per your request.
    • If you ask and someone declines to support you, do not take it personally, simply ask someone else.
    • If your social network is limited, join a program or group to receive outside support.  Examples include a walking club, the YMCA or YWCA, or a local gym.
    • Seek virtual support.  Join weight loss or weight control groups in Facebook or LinkedIn.
    • Beware of the 30 pound curse!  A weight loss of 30 pounds is around 2 clothing sizes.  Dropping 2 sizes builds your confidence.  Yet be careful not to overdo the bragging rights!  Excessive boasting may alienate others who already feel insecure about their weight.  Often the insecurity of others leads to sabotage which may undermine your confidence in the long run.  Remain humble and privately know you are on the right track.  Accept compliments but do not expect them.

    You may find you are the leader to optimal health in your family.  Others may not know how to support you during your weight control journey.  Stay true to your goals and continue on your path.   As the leader, others will follow once they notice your outstanding results.  No one wants to be left behind a beautiful woman!  Use patience and empathy and soon you will find you are the support person for others.

    A Health Coach Increases Your Odds of Weight Loss Success!

      
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    What is Health Coaching?

    Health Coaching is the new effective alternative to healthcare.  Health Coaches help clients get on track to wellness and improved quality of life.  Through working with a Health Coach clients quickly identify personal challenges to reaching their goals.  A qualified health coach guides the client to create goals and plans that overcome these challenges.  These goals and plans work because the client personally designs them.  Personally designed plans result in better adherence and results.  Health Coaches also provide continuing support and motivation to keep you on track.  Whether you need short-term goal setting, long-term weight loss, or disease management help, Health Coaching is for you.

     

    Health Coaching for Weight Loss

    A recent study showed the significance of Health Coaches for weight loss.  In the study, the group that used a professional coach lost on average 9% of their body weight.  These results were in comparison to individuals who lost only 6% who used other support. 

     

    How a Health Coach Helps You

    You may wonder what a health coach can do for you.  Health coaches guide and mentor the client to achieve optimal health.  The guidance is through several strategies including Motivational Interviewing, Adult Principles of Education, and goal setting.  A qualified health coach relates well to the client when they share the same experience.  Professionally trained Coaches that experience and manage the same health condition as their clients provide empathy, guidance, and troubleshoot obstacles to success.

     

    How to Choose a Health Coach

    Confusion in choosing a Health Coach is common.  There are many well-meaning “Health Coaches” in the wellness industry and it helps to identify the essential qualities before you choose.  Here are some qualifications of a high quality Health Coach.

     

    • Experienced the same condition as you
    • Professionally trained mentor and educator
    • Clinical background
    • Current in the industry through certification
    • Conducted Research
    • Published Author
    • Passion
    • Affiliated with a Reputable Program

     

    Why Use a Health Coach?

    Health coaches can help you reach your goals quickly.  Whether you want to lose weight or improve your compliance with your disease, consider the benefits of working with a competent health coach.  Optimal health is essential to achieve your goals.  Optimal health begins with proper weight management.  Contact Dr. Georgene Collins at 219-558-0493 to learn how you can achieve optimal health and coach for free with her!  Your health is an asset and your vehicle through life.  Choose your health coach wisely on your journey to weight management!

    Health Care is Costing You More than Money!

      

    A Must Read for All Health Care Workers (and others interested in a long life)!

    For many decades, I enjoyed a wonderful nursing career.  When I began my health care career in 1989, I never dreamed I would have had such a wonderful and rewarding nursing experience.   Yet in 2007, as a Director of Health Care Quality responsible for patient and employee safety, I began to see subtle trends that were alarming.  As the years passed, those trends turned into obvious warning signs that were responsible for my career transition to the wellness side of health care.  In 2007, I began to see a change in the health care system.  Looking back this change was a direct result of supply and demand.  Too many people needed care and there simply was not enough money or health care workers to meet the demand.  As I listened to the complaints of my team members and peers I became weary.  I worried about the how the changes would affect the quality of patient care.

    Dangers in Health Care

    Fast forward to present day and this article represents a worsening condition of the health care system.  In this article The American Medical News reveals the reality of the current bleak health care system and its impact on work force morale.  The shortages and excess demands are creating negative environments.  These negative environments are presenting morale and care challenges for the health care workforce.   As a result, job dissatisfaction is growing among health care workers.  The job dissatisfaction is creating unsafe environments for both workers and patients.  According to the article, hospitals are now considered a dangerous place to work!

    The negative environment is creating stress among all levels of health care workers.  A survey conducted by the American College of Physician Executives and QuantiaMD, revealed that 70% of doctors polled see disruptive behavior at least once per month.   Besides disruptive behavior, employee injuries are up 33% over private industries.   This also leads to further shortages and low morale.

    The current obesity epidemic is also creating further demand on the health care worker.  Because of the new “overweight norm” in society at two-thirds of the population, the average patient needs more resources for daily activities such as moving, walking, and turning.  It is common practice for well-intentioned health care workers to move an obese patient alone or with only one other worker.  This often results in strains, sprains, and serious back injuries to the health care worker.

    Regardless of the industry, low employee morale negatively impacts the consumer.  Whether the consumer is a patient, client, or customer makes no difference, consumers know when morale is low among workers.  This is the same among health care workers where added stress can lead to patient mistakes and injuries.

    Improve Your Health and Avoid Health care

    Without a doubt, you and I cannot fix the health care system.  The system is too bureaucratic and politically influenced.  While we are grateful to have one of the best health care systems in the world, in reality, no one is sure where our system will end up.  Whether you are a health care worker or a patient, you can avoid becoming a victim of the current system by following these health tips.

    There has never been a better time to take control of your health and avoid the health care system.  Following these simple recommendations can help you lose and manage your weight and gain the control you need to improve the quality and length of your life!

    Take Care and Remember, I’ve Been There,

    Dr. Georgene Collins, PhD, RN, CPHQ

     

     

    Overweight Women Suffer

      

    There are many studies that show the negative effective of excess weight, but overweight women suffer the most.  Reduced quality and length of life are two of the greatest fears that overweight women worry about as they age.  Recent studies show the importance of weight loss for women.  Overweight women at 40 that stayed overweight as they aged were found to live 2 years less than those of normal weight.  Obese women at 40 died 4 to 6 years earlier compared to normal weight women.

    Businesswoman - Discouraging Job Hunt

    Quality of Life Suffers

    Another study showed overweight women are at risk of type 2 diabetes, stroke and heart disease.  The risk of stroke was increased for women ages 35 to 54, especially when a majority of their fat was carried over their stomach known as visceral fat.  Visceral fat is one of the worse types of fat to carry because it produces toxins that affect the heart.  Many overweight women suffer from silent heart attacks where the cardinal chest pain sign is reduced or absent.  Because of the lack of symptoms, overweight women and doctors ignore the complaints of “not feeling right”.  This delays treatment and could lead to a fatal heart attack for overweight women.

    Family Life Suffers

    By far one of the worst areas where overweight women suffer the most is with their family, especially their children.  Children learn from their environment and model adult behavior.  In truth, overweight women tend to raise overweight children.  While overweight women do not intentionally set out to raise an overweight child, children watch and imitate the same habits as adults. A huge frustration for many overweight women is to watch their children struggle with their weight.  Overweight women suffer when their children suffer from name calling and bullying due to their weight.

     

    Be a Role Model for Health

    The best way to reduce the suffering for you and your family is to be the best role model for health you can be.  If you are overweight, begin a plan to lose and manage your weight.

    Focus on health and not on dieting, especially around children.  Teaching children healthy food and activity choices is much easier then restricting and controlling the environment.  Take walks or play active games together rather than control television or computer time.  Quality time spent with mom is much healthier than trying to maintain a controlled environment.

    Be nice to you!  Remember you are striving to be a role model for health.  That means you may need to unlearn and relearn new behaviors yourself before you can show others the same.  The learning process is messy and often “feels” uncomfortable.  While the discomfort is a positive sign that you are growing as a person, it is an uncomfortable feeling.  Take the time to learn your new habits without judging or criticizing yourself with regret.  New habits take practice and time to become second nature.  Allow the natural transition to happen by giving yourself ample time to change.

    Celebrate!  Let’s face it, overweight women know how to suffer but very few remember how to party!  Regardless of the milestone you meet on your journey to role model health, celebrate and reward yourself for a job well done.  Celebrations are important for motivation.  Celebrate, celebrate, celebrate!

    You can be an excellent role model for health and end your overweight suffering once and for all.  Good health starts with reaching your ideal weight.  Once you reach your ideal weight, your motivation will increase to maintain your ideal weight.  A DOUBLE-WIN!

    Take care and remember, I’ve Been There,

    Dr. Georgene Collins, PhD, RN, CPHQ

     

    Severe GERD Symptoms

      

    What is the Difference Between A Heart Attack and Severe GERD Symptoms?

    Lately there are many commercials for over the counter medications to treat severe GERD symptoms.  GERD is gastroesophageal reflux disease.  GERD is a serious condition which can lead to erosion and scar tissue of the esophagus.  This brings to mind 2 concerns.  First, Severe GERD symptoms must be on the rise.  Secondly, severe GERD symptoms often mimic a heart attack.  Knowing the difference between the two may save your life.

    Stress

    Let’s address the first concern, the many commercials to treat severe GERD symptoms.  There is only one reason for advertising, a need!  There is a growing need for over the counter medications to treat Severe GERD symptoms because of the amount of stress in daily life.  Stress is a huge trigger for Severe GERD symptoms.  The stress alone is not the underlying cause of Severe GERD symptoms though.  Rather stress often leads to unhealthy eating.  Unhealthy eating is related to SEVERE GERD symptoms.  Think about what you eat when you are experiencing stress.  Many individuals sleep less during times of stress.  Often energy drinks high in caffeine and other stimulants are used throughout the day to combat the lack of sleep.  Other individuals may turn to chocolate for comfort.  Yet others may eat out more often where high calorie meals are loaded with fats.

    Heart Attack versus Severe GERD Symptoms

    That leads to the second concern.  In a sudden onset of pain, it is often difficult to decide the difference between a heart attack and severe GERD symptoms.  Here are some general guidelines to help identify the difference.

    Heart Attack Symptoms

    Severe GERD Symptoms

    Chest pain described as severe pressure or crushing Intense pain described as squeezing or general chest pressure
    Pain radiates, usually to the jaw or left arm Pain is diffuse and may radiate to the neck, both arms, and back
    Sudden onset of pain, often with exertion Onset of pain is usually after eating or drinking a trigger item
    Nausea Nausea
    Dizziness No Dizziness
    Sweating Sweating which often reduces when the pain subsides
    No cough Cough in an attempt to clear the “something is stuck in my throat” feeling
    Panic or anxiety; often described as feeling of impending doom Anxiety or panic is absent
    No bloating or gas Bloating or gas pressure
    Shortness of breath Shortness of breath may be present from the pain

    Post this list on refrigerator for quick reference.  If you or someone you know experiences heart attack symptoms, immediately call 911.  The paramedics will begin treatment to reduce the damage to the heart.  When in doubt, call 911 and immediately transport to the hospital.

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    Natural Treatment Options

    If you have been diagnosed with GERD and you recognize these Severe GERD symptoms, the following natural treatment options may help.

    • Reach and manage your ideal weight
    • Return to your healthy eating plan
    • Eliminate or reduce food triggers such as chocolate, caffeine, high fat meals, and mint and spices
    • Manage your stress level
    • Eat your last meal of the day more than 3 hours before bedtime
    • Eat small frequent meals
    • Sit up at least 1 to 2 hours after each meal
    • Sleep with an elevated pillow or wedge
    • Increase your fiber and water intake
    • Reduce or eliminate alcohol

    You can control your severe GERD symptoms with these natural treatment options.  You will want to check with your doctor for a proper diagnosis and further treatment.

    How do you control your severe GERD symptoms?  Leave your comments below.

    Take Care,

    Dr. Georgene Collins, PhD, RN, CPHQ

    Childhood Diabetes Type 2

      

     

    Childhood Diabetes, Type 2 is becoming a growing concern considering the current overweight and obesity statistics.  This article shows the added pressure on parents for checking their child’s blood sugar during school.  http://miami.cbslocal.com/2013/02/06/parents-face-diabetes-discrimination-in-schools-daycares/.  No parent wants to experience an ill child.  Parents of diabetic children are no exception.

    As a teenager at age 16, my husband was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes.  This changed his life and those in his family.  Thirty plus years later, my husband still talks about boiling the glass syringes, the thickness and pain of the needle, and the entire dreadful experience.  The disease  came without warning.  Worst, the disease was out of his control.  Type 1 Diabetes is caused by a rejection of the immune system on his pancreas.

    Unlike Type 1 Diabetes, Type 2 Diabetes is preventable, especially in children.  Childhood Diabetes Type 2 is preventable by proper weight control.  Parents are in the unique position to prevent disease in their children; especially Type 2 Diabetes.  You can help your children develop healthy eating habits that prevent disease by setting the right example.  Managing weight is a family affair.  Parents that take the lead improve health for everyone.  Often I am asked to help children lose weight because of my personal experience with childhood obesity.

    Cute little girl drinking milk

    While a “diet” is not recommended for young children, eating healthy is important at any age.  Children need to maintain acceptable nutrition for healthy growth and development.  A better recommendation for parents is to ensure acceptable nutrition and calorie levels for the age and gender of their child.  Increasing exercise and movement are also important for children.

    family_biking

    Once the overweight child reaches the teenage years, doctors often recommend a weight reduction plan that is safe and healthy.  This is especially important to relearn proper eating and activity habits before adulthood.

    How do you help your child prevent Childhood Diabetes, Type 2?  Leave your comments below.

    Take care,

    Dr. Georgene Collins, PhD, RN, CPHQ

     

    Weight Loss Secrets

      

    Want to Know a Great Weight Loss Secret?

    I love getting the inside scoop before everyone else.  It brings out my competitive nature.  What I really love is learning weight loss secrets before everyone else.  One of the best weight loss secrets I have to share is about weight loss motivation.   Now in my 8th year of weight management, motivation is an ongoing effort.  If you want to learn more, remember to sign up for my free video series on the 3 essential ingredients to weight management for life, you’ll really get some inside weight loss and weight management secrets!

    Okay back to one of my favorite weight loss secrets.  Ready?  Here goes.  I found while working out on the Elliptical, I would become so bored and demotivated.  On occasion I really had to fight that inner voice to push myself to workout.   While struggling through my workout and thinking of all the things I needed to get done, I had an epiphany!  I love those!  You know when the light bulb goes off and you just “get it”?  Well, I got it one day last December.  I love to multitask.  As a registered nurse, multitasking was part of the routine.  Women are natural multi-taskers.  Think about all the great things you achieve in a day—see you’re a multi-tasker too!  Besides multi-tasking, I like to learn.  Yet learning always seemed to be at the bottom of my task list.  I decided I needed to learn while on the Elliptical.  The challenge was that I needed to find a way to do so electronically with a small device.  The answer and my best weight loss secret—an Apple iPad!

    I love my Apple iPad.  I have wireless remote in my home and I can use my iPad while on my Elliptical.  I can surf the net via Safari, answer e-mails (okay this is a bit of a challenge while moving 6.5 miles per hour but I’ve done it), read documents on PDF and Word, and best of all I can read Kindle books!  I love that!  I love to read.  My challenge is that I wait until the end of the day to do so when I am tired and soon I am off to sleep or rereading the same paragraph over and over in a semi-state of consciousness!  Now on the Elliptical, I am fully awake and alert when I read and the time passes so quickly.  If I become bored, I simply go to another section of my iPad with a push of a button.  Here is another one of my weight loss secrets.  I play Candy Crush and Bejeweled sometimes!   I am addicted to Candy Crush.  My motto is if I can’t eat it, crush it!  No, I’m just kidding those of you that follow my program know all foods fit! But the game is really fun!

    If you plan to use your iPad or a Kindle reader on your exercise equipment, you’ll need a holder.

     

    Here are some features and benefits of the holder:

    Product Features

    Watch movies, listen to music, read and more while you workout.
    Works with most exercise equipment.
    stick GRIP material and neoprene strap secure your iPad during workout.
    Durable aluminum and steel construction.
    Foldable design fits into included travel pouch.
    An iPad or iPad 2 simply rests in the mounting tray of the fitRAIL and is secured against the frame with the patented stickGRIP material
    Convenient for low angle typing, watching movies and more while resting on a desk.
    Soft rubber feet ensure that the exercise equipment will not be scratched or harmed.
    Soft rubber feet sit on the back of the fitRAIL to ensure that the exercise equipment will not be scratched or harmed
    The fitRAIL allows users to view and operate an iPad or iPad 2 during a workout
    The fitRAIL folds up and fits into the included travel pouch for easy transportation in a gym bag or backpack
    Watch movies, listen to music, read and more while the iPad remains securely mounted. This exercise mount attaches to almost any type of workout equipment

     

     

    What weight loss secrets do you like to share?  Enter your secrets in the comment section below.

    Take Care,

    Dr. Georgene Collins, PhD, RN, CPHQ

    Simple Tips to Lower Your School Loan Debt

      

    You might wonder what school loan debt has to do on a weight loss mentor’s website.  The truth is EVERYTHING!  Excess weight is hardly the issue.  The problem is the reason we overeat.  At 280 pounds, I overate for all the wrong reasons and mostly due to stress.  A lot of my stress, especially when I was young, was due to poor money management.  At one time, I lived below the poverty level.  There were two reasons for this.  We didn’t make enough money and we were horrible at money management.  As soon as we had a little extra money, we blew it instead of saving it.    

     

    To improve our standard of living, we went to school.  Becoming a registered nurse was the best decision I made and had I stopped at the Associate level, I would have no school loan debt.  But I loved school and I was on a mission to discover the truth about me.  The more classes I attended, the more I learned about the world and me. 

    In 2011 I finally arrived at the truth when I completed my research with formerly obese women who learned to manage their weight like I did.  Completing my PhD in Education was amazing but I had to deal with the school loan debt I acquired over the 22 years of college!  I began research on ways to pay down my school loan debt as fast as possible. 

     

    Here are some tips you can use to reduce your school loan debt quickly and avoid financial pain.

    1.Borrow only what you need.  This seems like common sense but many students make this mistake.  I had to pay for child care with my school loans so I always borrowed a little extra when the kids were small.  But you don’t want to increase your standard of living or make unnecessary purchases with your school loans.  Avoid running up credit card debt or buying an expensive car while in school.   These can wait until you are in the workforce.

    2.  Pay your interest when you are in school.  The interest is usually low and affordable.  In fact, because it is low, it may seem unnecessary to pay the interest.  But remember, interest continues to accumulate so paying just the interest will help keep your school loan debt more manageable.

    3.  Pay on your loan even if in deferment.  Any amount you pay to reduce your school loan debt will help in the long run.  Even what seems minor like $50 dollars a month, will help you in the end when your loans are in full repayment.

    4.  Make extra payments when you can.  The more you pay, the more you reduce your interest from accumulating. 

    5.  If you make extra payments, keep your current due date.  Many financial institutions will advance your payment date when you pay ahead.  This is a mistake for you because it adds interest to your loan.  That’s like not paying ahead at all.  Remember, your financial institution will automatically advance your due date so make sure you tell them to keep your current due date at the time you make your extra payment.  You may need to place this in writing so check with your loan holder.   

    6.  Pay down your loans with your highest interest rate first.  When you make extra payments, tell your financial institution which loan you want to apply the money to and always pick the loan with the higher interest rate.

    7.  Continue paying extra.  Finally, many students have multiple student loans especially if you have an advance degree.  Once you pay off one loan, take the extra amount you were paying and apply it the next loan with the higher interest rate.  Avoid the temptation to spend the money and continue paying the extra amount on another loan.  You’ll be glad you did!

     

     

    When you’re on a mission to discover the truth, you might find yourself wading through school loan debt faster than expected.  These simple tips can help you better manage your school loan debt before it gets out of control!

    Click here to return to the home page. 

     

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