Never Change

 I don’t like the word ‘change’ – especially as it pertains to fitness and health. Someone who suggests that you need to change (in any way) is implying that who or what you’re doing now is wrong, bad, embarrassing, annoying…etc. Therefore, we’ve come to realize that changing ourselves or habits is inevitably going to involve uncertainty, discomfort, denial, doom, gloom and yuck.
I prefer to think of the health journey as an exciting array of opportunities… The opportunities to try new foods, invitations to experience new activities, chances to build strength and endurance, freedom to feel great physically and emotionally.
Doesn’t that sound infintely more interesting than preparing to grit your teeth and buckle down to make the difficult changes necessary in order to improve your Body Mass Index and Lipid Profile?
I usually avoid suggesting that fitness clients should pose for ‘before’ pictures or document their weight or measurements. Obviously, I understand that people like to track measurable results when they are working hard to make improvements in their health so I’m not dead-set against such things. But I don’t ever want to lead someone to believe that their current stats are something which should or will be looked back upon with disdain.
If we’re always looking forward to when, ‘when I weigh 140 pounds/run a 5K/wear a size 10/fit into my high school prom dress”, we miss taking delight in the present.
So rather than making a point of discussing and documenting all that needs to be changed about someone, I’d rather focus on all that’s right. Then we can talk about the many opportunities available to aid in improving our eating and exercise habits while maintaining our individual dignity and awesomeness.

Everybody’s Working For the Weekend! — You Deserve Treats And Cheats. Or Do You?

Welcome to a repeat performance of one of the web’s best posts of 2016…Enjoy!

The weekend is here…you’ve been good all week…eating nutritiously, hydrating often, exercising regularly…and now it’s time to kick back and enjoy yourself.

Before you dive headlong into a 2-day gluttony-and-sloth-fest, I’m going to ask you to tell me exactly what you did to deserve to eat pizza until you hurt. How precisely did you earn that pint of Ben & Jerry’s? Why do you have the right to indulge in too much beer and Cheez Kurls?

To my way of thinking, the only people who deserve to eat like that are the ones who kick puppies, scare small children and shove old ladies.

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What I’m getting at is that mistreating your body is not even remotely akin to presenting yourself with a hard-earned reward. Glopping up your digestive, circulatory and endocrine systems with 12 Snickers bars and a gallon of chocolate milk while you are piled on the couch watching 50 Shades of Grey for the 19th time is a punishment not a present.50shades

 

I would suggest that you likely deserve a lot better! You deserve to eat well, exercise regularly, and relax at the end of your busy week. You’ve earned the right to make your healthy a priority.

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You will never find peace with food, exercise and other healthful habits if you are continually viewing them as virtuous, righteous, pious or difficult to attain/sustain. Because as soon as you start believing that you need to get serious, buckle down, dig in your heels and grit your teeth in the pursuit of health, you’ve missed the point. You are trying to rely on willpower and self-control which NEVER, EVER, EVER, EVER, EVER, EVER, EVER works long-term.

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I don’t recommend that people pledge allegiance to some random expert’s plan, program or specific schedule for eating, exercise, sleep or hydrating because I believe that you need to learn, and DO, what’s best for you. And I have every bit of confidence that you will do just that when you decide to make your health journey a priority.

 

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This is the foundation upon which my best-selling nutrition seminar is built. I’m so looking forward to introducing this unique approach to a sold-out venue in Sparta, Michigan beginning on Tuesday April 16.

sold out crowd

Thank you for liking and sharing today’s post.

‘Change’ Is A Four Letter Word

Changeverb \ˈchānj\

  • to become different
  • to make (someone or something) different
  • to become something else

Recently, I’ve been making an effort to discontinue using the word ‘change‘ when discussing  health and fitness issues. Because I do not believe anyone needs the pressure, anxiety or doubt that accompanies the call to “become (someone or something) different”. As a health advocate, I’m definitely NOT hoping to inspire someone to become someone other than who they have grown to become.

I find that I’ve been saying ‘change’ when, really, I am referring to growth, improvements, discoveries and explorations as they relate to our ever-unfolding health journeys. Most importantly, I think most of us will agree, the word ‘change‘ sets off very loud, danger-ahead, red-alert warning signal that something unpleasant, uncomfortable and undesired is on the way.

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Let’s say, for example, that you decide (or your doctor tells you) to change your diet and your sedentary lifestyle. Most likely, you will have a good long talk with yourself before you buckle down and steel yourself against the deprivation, denial and suffering that surely lies ahead.

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What if, instead, you chose to make small improvements in your daily eating habits…maybe spending a few extra minutes in the produce department discovering exciting new options? Maybe you would explore new ways to prepare your vegetables (steamed, grilled, stir-fried…). And maybe you would find that you love kale and spinach. Or not. But it’s worth a shot.

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What if you decided to discover how you feel when you start your day with a bowl of oats, nuts and fruit as opposed to a giant jelly doughnut washed down with a super-sized mocha frappuccino?  If you realize that you feel more energetic and satisfied, you can choose to start everyday that way. If, however, oats aren’t your thing, you could try eggs. You don’t have to change anything about yourself…you’re just being adventurous knowing that you always have the freedom to stay or return to your current course.

If you realize that you are not moving enough every day, you have many options that don’t include unpleasant, time-intensive commitments to drudgery.hateexercise

You could buy a gym membership… lift weights, dance Zumba, utilize cardio equipment or, best of all, join one of my highly anticipated, sell-out Strength In Numbers classes.

Walk your dog or ride your bike through your neighborhood. Learn ball room dance or karate. Join a cycling group, swim class or German polka club. You might discover that you love to move.

If not, your couch and TV will welcome you back.

Health equals Freedom in my dictionary. Opportunities to expand your horizons abound. Don’t get hung up on ‘change‘. Just get out there and take a chance that you might find that yourself touting the benefits of eating quinoa and swinging kettle bells.

Have you recently made a healthful discovery? Maybe you’re planning to try something new? Or maybe you have a ‘change-gone-wrong’ story you’d like to share.

Inspire us with your story…I always welcome your comments and questions.

itsimpossible

One Thing You Can Do Every Day To Improve Your Health And Fitness

A semi-humorous commercial asks, “What if one piece of broccoli could protect you from cancer? And what if one push-up could prevent a heart attack?”

This ad assumes that you know how unrealistic and silly it would be to think that achieving wellness is quite so simple.

pushups

Guess what? It really can be that simple. Keep reading…I’ve complied a long list of ‘one thing’ you can do to improve your health, fitness and overall well being. Pick any or all of the following actions to do once daily and you will be on your way to a better life.

  1. What if you did eat one piece of broccoli a day? Say you snapped off just one fresh piece daily, washed it and popped in right in your mouth. By the end of the week, you would have eaten an entire stalk. Happily, you aren’t limited to just broccoli. You can try this nifty trick with ANY tasty fruit or vegetable of your liking.broccoli2
  2. What if you walked up one flight of stairs daily? By the end of the week you would have walked up 7 stories! And that might be more stairs than you’ve walked in the past 7 months.
  3. Perhaps you could drink one less soda/beer/sports drink/glass of red KoolAid each day.
  4. And replace it with one glass of water. Maybe you would catch yourself preferring ice-cold lemon water to sticky, sickeningly-sweet anything.lemonwater
  5. What if you walked around the block once before you sat down to watch re-runs of Here Comes Honey Boo-Boo? Maybe you would like it so much you would just keep walking right through the closing credits.honeybooboo
  6. Maybe each day you could replace one pasty, white carb with a nutritious whole grain. You might discover that chewing your food is fun. Additionally, you’ll feel full faster and poop better.
  7. Once a day, you could redirect your attention when you feel a less-than-healthful craving for say, a pan full of brownies or a bag of sour cream-‘n-onion potato chips. Over the course of a week, that’s lot of ice cream and chips that didn’t pollute your glorious body. But more importantly, you made a choice and proved that indeed, you could put aside that craving. That might even turn into something you could do 2 or 3 times a day.

Not a complete list but a few ideas to get you thinking.

Now maybe you’re skeptical of this less-than-exciting plan.

horseshit

She is so full of it

You’re thinking,

“I find that fitness and eating well work best for me when I create an elaborate, unrealistic, time-consuming program that starts with me spending a weekend eating all of the peanut butter, chips and cookies in the house and then re-stocking with lots of lettuce, chicken and Slim Fast. Typically, I find this program to be highly successful for about 3 days after which I throw up my hands in despair having determined that being healthy is too difficult and not a priority at this very busy time in my life. I’m ridiculously sore, tired and hungry as well as frustrated with having to eat differently from my friends and family. So, at this point, I commence to annoying everyone I meet by telling them that this whole business of exercise and dieting is for self-absorbed people who have been blessed with a lot more willpower, money and time than I have been.”

drfill

Stick with me, my friend. Truly, there IS Strength in Numbers and we are all in this together.

Welcome (Back)!

 

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The award-winning blog formerly known as I Love My Muscles! is making a much-anticipated, often-requested return.

The most obvious difference is our new and improved name which better reflects the philosophy and mission of our healthful lifestyle crusade.

I hope you will visit often to read about and learn how to create and maintain your best life. Also, please remember to share singroup.life posts with many, many of your friends, family members and casual acquaintances whom you would like to impress.

I’m so glad that you’re along for the ride!

Jackie