Find Your Exit Buddy

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The journey to wellness can be a wild ride, filled with twists, turns, diversions, and bumps, which impact your ability to maintain focus and to keep making those day to day choices that support your goal. This is the truth for any type of goal; personal, health, or business.

However, it’s the choices you make throughout the day that you need to keep consistent in order to make progress. You may get so lost in your sight of the prize, that you don’t develop the daily habits you must do to get there. That is what happened with me time and time again when I attempted to begin a healthier routine, be it with nutrition or exercise.

I knew it was going to be different when I figured out that I needed an “exit buddy.” I attached a short video clip from the movie “Finding Nemo.” It is the part where Dorry and Marlin have to go through the “swirling vortex of doom” to reach their goal of making it to Sydney in order to search for Nemo. They were both terrified, but they had each other for that crazy ride, and they ended up getting through it side by side.

Finding your exit buddy is an important key to success. You need to have someone supporting you, who is working on a similar goal, that you report to on a regular basis for that crucial day to day accountability. They are there to give advice, provide motivation, give support on those difficult days, and keep you moving forward on your journey.

Is is possible to reach your goal without an exit buddy? Sure, but it is going to be a much, much more difficult process. If you don’t remain true and consistent with the process, then the chances of getting where you want to be go way down! You need to fall in love with the process, not the end result!

This is where people fall down in achieving their goals. They are so focused on the end result, that the little steps you need to follow to get there (like I mentioned last week) get brushed aside. You become frustrated because you have a couple of good days, followed by a bad day, then a good day, and then two more bad days. Pretty soon, fed up with the lack of progress, you regress back to the old patterns that don’t support you, and the goal is abandoned. Your exit buddy is going to keep you on the path, so that you make those daily needed choices and do the behaviors and habits you know have to happen to make progress!

I have two exit buddies who have been supporting me on my wellness journey. The first one is my husband, Mike. I will be forever grateful for his presence and willingness to fully embrace a lifestyle of greater wellness, and follow this journey right by my side. As he saw the changes I was making in my nutrition and fitness habits, he also accepted them and joined me in this process. He has lost 55 pounds in the last year, and I am so proud of him! He is there to support our new lifestyle every single day!

He will cut up the lemons to put in our water, be excited about grilling more vegetables, and happily try my new healthier recipes. He takes care of getting the kids out of bed and ready so I can exercise in the morning. He does this willingly, happily, and without complaint. I have supported him the same way. It works. We work together, so we can keep moving forward on our health journey.

My second exit buddy is a driven, kind and amazing individual who introduced me to following the lifestyle I am now so passionate about. She became not only my fitness and nutrition coach, but my wellness cheerleader who showed up for me every day to keep me focused and on track. All this support was given freely and willingly. Cherise Goodrich inspired me to become that exit buddy for others looking to improve their wellness by taking control of their fitness and health. I will be forever grateful to you as well, Cherise! I love showing up and providing that kind, motivating support and accountability that is going to help others stay true to the process of achieving wellness.

So, my advice this week is to find that person or group who will be your exit buddy. No matter what your goal is, that person or group will get you through the daily grind (face it, some days are a complete grind!), making those needed little choices and doing those daily behaviors and habits that will keep you moving forward! You can do it! Just find your exit buddy!

It’s Time to Find Your “Why”

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I’ve been lucky enough to know Stacy for over 25 years now! We met in college, where her outgoing personality and sense of adventure drew this shy, introverted girl out of her shell! I am so happy Stacy invited me on her blog to share a little of my story as a guest blogger this month. We ALL have a story to tell, and each of us has value to add to another by sharing a bit of ourselves, scar tissue and all.

My wellness journey has not been a linear experience, hence the term “journey.” It’s like this for just about every typical person out there, I think. We go through stages in our health. In my twenties, I’d go on and off the path, ranging from complete vegetarian and regular exerciser, to being a couch potato and developing a daily McDonald’s chocolate shake habit (not proud to admit that).

Stress and life events can have a huge impact on the decisions we make about  how we choose to nourish ourselves, mind, body, and spirit. In March of 2015, I had devoted the previous 5 years to having a family and raising our kids. I have a six year old daughter and a four year old son. March is the big birthday month in my house. Both my kids were born in that month (2 years and 3 days apart). My birthday is in March, too. My husband and I were just coming out of a three year stretch of horrible sleep, and less than stellar eating (My chocolate shake habit morphed into an M&M habit) and I realized that something had to change.

I knew that I needed a lifestyle shift. It went way beyond wanting to drop a few pounds. If weight loss is the only motivation you are using in making a shift to a healthier lifestyle, then you are doomed to fail! I did some serious soul searching, and dug deep to the root of the real WHY I wanted to do this. My personal Why centers around the fact that I am an “older” parent. I had my daughter on the cusp of 40, and my son on the cusp of 42. I want to be active in their lives as they grow up. I want to be there to share in the major milestones they will experience going through childhood into becoming independent adults. I don’t want to be mistaken as their grandmother in the stands at their high school graduation! Really, I want to be fully present, and a viable contributing member to my family and society in general for years and years to come. See what I mean by digging deep?

To make permanent changes to a way of living that embraces wellness, you gotta have your why, and it’s gotta be deep enough to keep you going on those days when all you want to do is lie in bed and watch reruns of Law and Order instead of exercising, or when you know it’d be so easy to make a pass through the drive-through rather than take the time to prepare a healthy meal with the produce you bought with the best of intentions, that is starting to go bad in your fridge because you’re too damn tired and unmotivated to cook.

My first suggestion to you is to look deep inside and ask yourself why you want to begin your journey of wellness. Why do you want to commit to healthier eating, to making movement and fitness part of your regular life? When you uncover these reasons, write them down. Reflect on them. Your why has to be big enough to sustain your desire to change, rather than keep the status quo, which isn’t serving you. Your wellness journey MUST begin with your WHY. Once you have your why, then you can start considering the how…

My Bone Broth Experiment – Week 2, Day 12, Diet 1 (Fast one day a week diet)

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After reading about bone broth, I had to check it out! So I found a slow cooker recipe, bought some bones and vegetables and gave it a shot.

As I sipped my first cup I thought about how my hair would glisten, my skin would glow and my joints would be free of any crotchety pain. I just needed to drink bone broth as my afternoon pick-me-up instead of coffee, every day.

It says it needs 8-24 hours for the bone marrow to seep into the broth, but I couldn’t wait! I wanted one before bedtime so dug in about 2 hours into the cooking time. This cup was still watery, and since I didn’t strain the solids out yet, it was more of a soup still. Not bad.

In the morning I had another cup after straining it through a fine mesh sieve. The broth was now rich and greasy. It was my fasting day so I thought I’d start it off with the broth, a cup supposedly has between 34-70 calories, depending on what web site you checked out. I drenched some on my dog Sady’s food too.

After I drank it, my stomach immediately began to hurt, which I guess is okay because it was a fast day. I really didn’t want to eat until late afternoon after that. I put some of the broth in the refrigerator and froze the rest.

But now when I think about the broth, I’m not sure I can stomach it again. The greasy richness might be too much. So – no broth solution for me! At least not on a daily basis.

Weigh-in was 180.8 so holding steady, but the fast one day a week diet is not exactly dropping those pounds off either. Earlier in the week, I made the mistake of thinking these cute little baggies of dark chocolate covered almonds couldn’t be more than 250 calories tops.

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Turns out they were 410 calories. Oy vey! Tried to compensate for that by eating these kelp noodles. The whole package is less than 40 calories.

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I added some garlic spicy sauce to it – but they pretty much taste like stiff pieces of nothing. I’ll try cooking them next time – maybe even in the bone broth. But these are not something I’ll eat on a regular basis.

So – since the weight loss is sluggish – I’m going to amp it up by overlapping the last week of the fast one day a week with the Beach Body 21 day fit program. I obviously need more caloric accountability on my non-fast days to stay on track.

And we’ll have a guest blogger, Colette Salmon Vaigl, joining us for several weeks with nutrition advice too! She’s lost weight and kept it off by permanently changing her eating and exercise habits.

Week 2, day 8, diet 1 – fast 1 day a week diet

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I went straight into my do-over fast day on Friday (the day after my failed fast day). Still had about 750 calories, but did better than the first time. I did have head-aches though and trouble sleeping with a grumbling stomach. The next day I weighed in and had lost 2 lbs in 5 days 🙂

I ordered Thai food (noodle dish) the next day and promptly gained the 2 lbs of lost weight back. But then it seems to have stabilized at one pound lost for the week a day later.

So the moral seems to be – you still have to really watch your food intake on this diet. Fasting one day a week (so far) does not seem to be a miracle, metabolism boosting, weight loss formula.

Deep down I know that – but an overweight girl can dream!

Diet Plan Log, Day 8:

Diet Type: Fast One Day A Week Diet

Exercise: Not much. Made sure not to exercise on fast day as exercise makes me hungry! Will do better with exercise this new week.

Fast Day Meal Plan: Started with an egg and coffee with almond milk. You can crack an egg in a bowl and microwave on high for 25-35 seconds and get an egg over medium or hard fast. No butter or cooking spray needed! One of my healthier ex’s taught me that trick.

My big meal of the day was a Panda Express bowl of spicy shrimp with a side of veggies. 280 calories total (photo above).

And for dinner I snacked on air-popped popcorn with balsamic vinegar and some thin parmesan shavings. I learned that what I thought was 2 1/2 cups of popcorn was really 6 cups. Good to get out those measuring cups and re-learn your portions!

I also had a “Sex and the City” moment when I tossed half the popcorn and then later dug the good bits back out of the garbage (like Miranda when she threw away her Betty Crocker chocolate cake, walked away and then took it back out of the garbage and ate it).

Clink on the link below to watch Miranda, and feel better about yourself, if you’ve done this too!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1bqUIcv4M3w

Metabolism Boosters: hot water with lemon and oregano and flax seed oils

Cheats: extra popcorn on fast day, Thai Drunken Noodle dish day after fast day, two glasses of wine day after the fast day too (scaling the booze way back this week, aiming to cut it all out).

Leaving 170 – Days 1&2 – Starter Fails + Pretending I Didn’t See You

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I’d topped 170 lbs and some change and my fat fat pants were already getting snug – one week after I bought them! I knew I had to go full throttle or risk hitting 200 so I psyched myself up and blew some cash on hopes of slimmer days to come.

First – I got the Ab Circle Pro above. The fabulous ladies in my dentist’s office said it really worked and the advertising said it only takes “3 minutes a day!” PLUS look at that photo – it screams “WEEEEE – FUN!”

Not so much. With all my extra weight, it also cranked my back when I used it. And 3 minutes is a hell of a lot longer than you think when you’re out of shape. So – the days (about 3) using this don’t factor in this count.

Second – I joined weight watchers. I’m not counting those days either – because keeping track of everything you eat is tedious. But I’m trying. Sort of. I’m still paying the $40 a month – does that count???

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Third – I hit yoga, that seemed a gentler way to work on the core. I did okay, but my thighs were too fat for the exercise above. You put a styrofoam yoga block between them to keep your knees facing forward – with the block in-between them my thighs were facing towards the side walls and not straight ahead. Yoga Fail. The teacher came over and nicely told me I should look for a slimmer block next time (which, of course, they don’t have available ANYWHERE in LA).

Fourth – The new YMCA in our neighborhood opened so I took a cardio class the next day. I saw a rail thin Korean friend I’d lost touch with – we’d met during real estate classes and got together a few times a year and then years went by. Embarrassed by my new frame I decided to just pretend I didn’t see her and hope she didn’t recognize me now that I’d super sized. Another fail!

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She called out my name, we talked and I admitted that I felt awkward in my new body so I was hiding in the corner. Then we took a super hard cardio class together and I was bound and determined to keep up. I did. And I paid the price.

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Luckily – a hot bath with the Milk and Honey Epsom Salts helped ease the pain. And afterwards you smell amazing. Like an actress on an afternoon audition. I swear they lack sweat genes or something. Going in the lobby to call their names, I was always amazed by the combo of heavenly smells and jealous vibes. Some major size-ups went on between them there.

I’m done with those size ups, can’t wait for my first size down.

Fit2Fat2Fit by Drew Manning (Book Review)

Looked through this book while eating nachos. Healthy-ish nachos (as far as nachos go) and reading passages in this book inspired me to only eat half of them. That’s pretty much as good as it gets for my dieting.

The second line in the title is “The Unexpected Lessons From Gaining and Losing 75 LBS On Purpose.” I think that Drew could’ve just mentioned that he gained 75 lbs on purpose, not that he lost it on purpose. ‘Cause let’s face it – losing 75 pounds without purposely trying is a rare occurrence.

If you flip through the pages fast there’s a little man in the corner who starts out fit, gets fatter and then fit again so you can decide whether you want to read about fit or fat Drew. This book was originally a blog so you could follow his progress (or regress) on a daily basis.

Being a hyper-fit personal trainer Drew didn’t sympathize much with his overweight clients. He didn’t understand their sugar withdrawals or caffeine headaches when they had to give up soda (or pop as we say in the Midwest). He couldn’t grasp how they gasped and even vomited so easily when he pushed them to the limit.

This experiment changes that. Once he puts on the weight and his energy level plummets, Drew realizes physically, viscerally, how his clients must feel when they come to him. Drew gets lazy. His wife gets annoyed. She obviously misses his hot body because both of them go on and on about how this experiment changed their relationship. You can skip through all that fast.

The recipes sound good though (going to try the caramelized onion glazed salmon) and it’s an easy read. Worth checking out if you want to learn more about how to combine different forms of exercise to avoid plateaus and how to eat a well balanced meal. It’s basic and sometimes long-winded on the personal whining, but not a bad place to start.

RECOMMENDATION: Take out from the library, then decide if you want to buy for the recipes and step-by-step exercise descriptions.