Help! Gaining Weight Sucks

I moved to Arizona aka The Grand Canyon State in September 2007. While I was there, I reached my goal weight of 115 lbs. and clothing size 2; I’m 5 ft. 8 in. Living in Arizona meant I was able to purchase organic fruits and vegetables (not costly), and of course, hike the beautiful mountains. When you hike 7-days a week in 80+ degrees, you’re bound to lose weight. Fast forward to July 2010, and I had to move back to Ohio from Arizona. This was devastating for me because I took everything I had (financially) to move to Arizona. I absolutely loved being in the state because of the weather, the parks, people, proximity to California, Mexico, and Nevada, the Arizona Humane Society, bookstores, and much more. I thoroughly enjoyed living in Arizona.

I slowly gained weight since late 2009 because I had fearful thoughts (relatives contributed to this) of having to move back to cold, rainy, and snowy Ohio. And, certain family members kept ‘bugging’ me about “how and why I could live over 2,000 miles” away from my family. Guilt slowly crept into my mind and moving back to Ohio became a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Since Ohio weather is not ideal for me, I’ve slacked off with my workouts. It’s May, and I still have the electric heater on (it’s on right now) along with my electric blanket. I also redeveloped some bad eating habits since living with my mom like eating dark chocolate, cookies, candy, potato chips, and ice cream now and again (I since stopped this). When I lived in Arizona, I used to treat myself to Gelato, but I never bought a container of it to keep in my freezer. I would get a small bag of Baked Lays to go with my Veggie Sub from Subway. The only time I bought a regular sized bag is when I had a coupon and a craving for the chips.

I’m highly disappointed and ashamed of myself. How could I let this happen? Why did it happen? Why am I gaining belly fat? What can I do to stop it? Why didn’t moving to Arizona work out? How do I get back to the state I love so much? I felt and still feel a deep connection to the Southwest. I’ve also developed a connection to the South. I’m a Leo, maybe it’s the fire sign in me that’s drawn to warm and sunny areas of the U.S.

I worked very hard to reach my desired weight. Some people (my mom) thought I was too thin but that’s not my problem. I loved the way I looked! Right now, not so much.

Today, I was supposed to participate in lobbying for Ohio’s animals (I may as well do something good while I’m here), but none of my ‘professional’ clothes fit me! My clothing sizes range from 2, 4, and 6; there’s no way I could get into my size 2. I couldn’t get into my size 4 skirt or 6 dress pants; I can get into my size 6 khakis! I’m very, very upset about this. I refuse to purchase new clothes in a bigger size when I have a wardrobe box filled with perfectly good clothing. I will get back into my old clothes.

It seems like my body has changed; I know it changes every seven years. It seems like I have more belly fat than usual. I know stress (I’m super stressed) causes belly fat. But, I don’t understand how I could gain 40 lbs. in a short amount of time. I even became a vegetarian! I could understand if I ate chips, fast foods, chocolate, candy, cookies, cakes, etc. every day, but I don’t. What has happened? Am I so stressed out that the weight won’t budge?

I’m doing my best to ‘psyche’ myself up to work out but it’s so frickin’ cold outside that I have no desire to. When lived in Arizona, I used to ‘bounce’ outside the door and walk to the post office or the park that was close to me; this was in 80+ degree weather. I loved being a dog walker for AHS and hiking South Mountain Park. I was highly active and loved being outside; I love nature! It’s no wonder the weight fell off of me. I wasn’t stressed at the time, and I was in a place that really felt like home.



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What Are the Real Reasons You’re Overweight?

Many people are overweight. This season of The Biggest Loser has the largest contestants on it. Mike, an 18-year old kid is the youngest player ever to be on The Biggest Loser. He tipped the scales at close to 390 lbs! Jillian and Bob do a good job by helping the people get to the “root or core” of their weight. This is the key. Being overweight has nothing to do with the fat around your belly, it has to do with what is on the inside of you.

For example, Mike discovered that he has a lot of anger towards his father Ron. Mike could not understand why his father would not do something about his weight so he could be an example to his kids. Mike’s mom was also overweight, but did something about it seven or eight years ago.

Luckily for Mike, Ron took full responsibility and welcomed his son’s anger. This is very rare. Kudos to Ron for stepping up and owning his part in his son’s battle with weight.

Reasons you’re overweight

  • Too much on your “shoulders” — everyone depends on you.
  • You are comforting yourself because you’re not feeling loved.
  • You feel that it’s hopeless to lose the weight.
  • You don’t have support of family and friends.
  • Afraid that people will not accept the new you.
  • You may feel unworthy.

The key to successful weight loss is to find out the WHY and WHAT of your weight. Why are you carrying the extra weight? What is holding your back from losing it? Why haven’t you taken the time to focus on you? What do you have to lose besides the weight?

When you decide to lose the weight, do it for the right reasons. The number one reason is YOU! It’s great if you want to lose weight because you want to be around for your kids, but if you do not do the “inner work” first, what’s the point of losing weight? You’ll just gain the weight back! Do the inner work first and then create a plan to lose the weight in order to reach your goal of freedom!

Shake-Up Your Workouts with These Fitness Trends

Many people get bored with their workouts. Thank goodness for fitness trends. Recharge yourself with new workouts. No one likes to get stuck in a routine. It’s good to try different workouts. You have the potential to work muscles.

If your metabolism has slowed, change your diet and exercise. This can increase your metabolism and you’ll start to lose weight. Consider cleansing your body. Detoxing your body will free it from harmful substances that build up over a period of time.

Personal Fitness Routine: TV’s toughest trainer wants you to lose weight with a free plan. Jillian Michaels from The Biggest Loser knows that cardio exercise is great way to get your heart rate up. If you want to burn calories, cardio exercises will get the job done. The top cardio exercise is running. The best part is that you do not need special equipment to run. The only thing you need to do is to make sure you have a good pair of running shoes. Start off running short distances. Each day run a little farther. Before you know it, you’ll be running 10 miles a day.
Cardio Exercises

  1. Running
  2. Bicycling
  3. Rowing
  4. Elliptical
  5. Rock Climbing
  6. Jump Roping
  7. Swimming
  8. Walking

If you’ve been in a fitness slump, fitness trends can bring you out it. Workouts can become routine or they may have stalled your weight loss. It’s good to reevaluate your workouts. The following fitness trends can “jolt” your metabolism.

Fitness Trends

Revamp your workouts with these fitness trends.

  1. Kettlebells. This odd looking weight from Russia can whip you into shape. This is a great all-over body workout.
  2. Bootcamps. Attention! These total body workouts are fun and challenging. You can burn up to 600 calories per session.
  3. Dancing. Dance Dance Revolution (DDR) is a fun video game and you lose weight at the same time. If you prefer dance classes, try Zumba or Afro-Cuban. Bollywood is another popular dance class that will keep you slim and trim.
  4. Budget Workouts. Put your credit card away and run around your apartment or the neighborhood. Use your living room to practice yoga or pilates. If your apartment complex has a fitness center, use it. You’re paying enough in rent so take advantage of the facilities. There’s no need to spend money on an expensive gym membership.
  5. Circuit Training. Includes strength training and cardio exercise. Doing these exercises at different intervals and intensities will take off the pounds.
  6. Back to Nature Fitness. Get outside and get moving. Go for a run, jog, or walk. Get outside and enjoy nature.

If you want to change your workouts, check out these fitness trends. Try all of them and find the exercises that work for you. There’s no need to stay in a “fitness rut.” This can sabotage your weight loss because you’ll begin to neglect your workouts. Fitness trends will come and go. You may as well take advantage of them while they’re here.

Are you feeling stuck in your workouts? If you need workout suggestions, just ask.
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How to Avoid a Rocky Start to Indoor Rock Climbing

You can avoid a rocky start to indoor rock climbing by learning the “ins and outs” of rock climbing. Indoor rock climbing is not that easy. Sure the Travel Channel showcases indoor rock climbing establishments, but it takes a little know how.

If you find yourself in Phoenix, AZ, check out The Phoenix Rock Gym. This is a great place to go indoor rock climbing. However, if you are a beginner, you may be overwhelmed. It will behoove you to know the “basics” of rock climbing. This includes knowing how to tie a figure 8 knot, understanding rock climbing lingo, and most importantly knowing that you are on your own. The staff shows you the equipment and goes over it and then you and your friend are good to go. If you’re lucky, a staff member will go over the equipment and how to tie a figure 8 knot more than once. They do not give you a helmet to wear — you may want to bring your own. Otherwise, good luck to you and don’t look down.

Rock climbing is a very physical sport. It requires the use of both lower and upper body strength. Those with long arms will naturally want to grab and pull themselves up. Wrong! Use your legs otherwise you’ll become tired fast.

Indoor rock climbing walls have different levels of difficulty. Most have beginner and advanced walls. Some of the walls have “fun” labels such as death! If you’re a beginner, you may want to stay away from the death wall.

If you are serious about rock climbing, you may want to invest in some rock climbing lessons. It’s better to take one or two classes and learn the ropes from a professional. When you go to a rock climbing gym you’ll know what you’re doing.

Rock Climbing in Arizona

  1. Lifetime Fitness, Tempe AZ.
  2. Climbmax, Tempe AZ.
  3. Rocks and Ropes Climbing Gym, Tucson AZ.
  4. Phoenix Rock Gym, Tempe AZ.
  5. Vertical Relief Climbing Center, Flagstaff AZ.

Indoor rock climbing is a great workout. It’s a great way to stay fit and burn fat! If you’re thinking about getting in shape, consider indoor rock climbing as part of your weight loss system. Just keep in mind that it is not a sport for the faint of heart. If you have a fear of heights, you may want to forget about indoor rock climbing. Unless, of course, you are ready to face your fear of heights.

However, if you would like to develop your core muscles, go ahead and try indoor rock climbing You’ll never know if you’ll like it until you experience it. Make sure to consult your physician before engaging in this strenuous activity. Once you are cleared for take-off, you’ll be ready to ascend to new heights in your fitness routine!

Where is your favorite place to go indoor rock climbing?

Begin a Weight Loss Program — Shed Those Pounds for Good

Did you gain some weight throughout the year? Do you overindulge over the holiday season each year? If you’re like many people, you give yourself permission to eat whatever you want over the holiday season. From Grandma’s chocolate chip cookies to Aunt Aggie’s Sweet Potato Pie, you probably inhaled it all!

Right about now, your body is probably begging you to lose the holiday and pre-holiday weight gain. Now, you’re on the scale and do not like the number starring back at you. Relax, take a deep breath, and make the decision today to lose the weight. Those 30 lbs. will be gone in no time.

Weight loss does not have to be scary or overwhelm you. You gained the weight one pound at a time, so take it off one pound at a time. Remember, crash diets do not work. You’ll see results in the short run, but in the long run you’ll gain the weight back and more!

Taking It Off for Good

  1. Know how much weight you want to lose. When you set a weight loss goal, be realistic. Not everyone will be “super model” thin. Find your target weight and go for it!
  2. Move for about 30 minutes per day. Do you like to dance? Are you a walker? No matter what you do, just exercise. Walking is a low-impact exercise that can help you to shed some pounds. Incorporate 3 to 5 lb. weights into your daily routine and build up from there. Take baby steps and start moving today!
  3. Keep a food journal. Do you know how many calories you eat per day? Do you know what you eat every day? Many experts believe a food journal will shed some light on what you eat each day. Most people go through their day fast and furious and do not even think or even taste what they eat. Slow down, taste your food, and write down what you eat every day. You’ll probably be surprised or mortified!
  4. Portion control. Use a small plate instead of a large one. The United States of America is known for “super-sizing” its foods. Cutting back on your portions is a great way to shed those extra pounds. You will notice a difference.
  5. Cut out fast food. Subway is a great alternative to fast foods. It’s fresh and you can have it your way.
  6. Curb the urge to dine out seven days a week. Not only will you save a ton of money, but you’ll see results from cutting back on eating out. Sometimes it cannot be avoided, but make an attempt to eat out less. If you must eat out, make smart choices. Look for the words “broiled and grilled,” skip the sauces, and ask for items such as salad dressing on the side. Better yet, skip the salad dressing.

    Also, do not be afraid to ask for substitutions or to have something prepared a different way.

  7. Hold the desert. Ok, this will be difficult for most people. Cutting out desert will help you reach your weight loss goals. Have something once in awhile or look for a substitute. The other alternative is to have your desert once in awhile. If this is too tempting for you then just cut out desert. Replace it with fresh fruit or make it yourself using lower calorie or reduced fat ingredients.

    Note: a label with the words “reduced fat, lower in fat, no fat, or no sugar, does not mean it’s better than ingredients that are higher in fat. Chances are the manufacturers replaced the “fat” with something else that is not good for you. This is why reading labels is important.

  8. Be wary of those 100 calorie snack packs. Did you read the label of ingredients? If you did not, it’s all right because I did ! Most of them contain high fructose syrup which is not good for you. These snacks have some ingredients that you’ve probably never heard of or cannot pronounce. For more information, check out the Mayo Clinic. They have a wealth of information that can prolong your life.
  9. Weigh yourself once a month. Do not weigh yourself every day because you’ll drive yourself nuts! When losing weight, you’ll probably hit a plateau which is normal. If you weigh yourself each day and do not lose a pound or two, you may become discouraged or obsessed. Weighing yourself once a month is fine and will keep you on track.

Follow these tips to get your body back into shape. Not only will you look good, but you’ll feel good. Some believe our body is a temple and should be treated like one. This means keep it clean and free of “garbage.” You would not desecrate a temple, would you?

If you would like to live a healthy and happy life, change your lifestyle. Get plenty of rest, mind your thoughts, curb your alcohol intake, quit smoking (try it), and live life to the fullest. Try these tips for 30 days and see what happens. You may not recognize yourself when you look in the mirror!

10 Tips to Prevent Holiday Weight Gain Forever

Many people love to eat and when the holidays approach, they feel it’s a free pass to eat whatever they want. Before they know it, the 30 pounds they took off during the year are back. Guilt and resentment settles in, and they comfort themselves with food and then gain another 10 pounds!

Most women gain weight in target zones such as hips, butt, and thighs! Men usually gain weight around their stomach aka “the spare tire,” which is not healthy.

To avoid weight gain during the holiday season, start by eating smart. According to Texas A&M International University in Laredo, “we eat an extra 619 calories per day from Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day.” That’s a lot of calories to pack onto your body each year!

Everyone wants to enjoy the holiday season. You do not want to deprive yourself of anything because you risk “binging” on foods. Before you know it, you’re ballooning up like Violet from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory!

10 Ways to Prevent Holiday Weight Gain

  1. Do not deprive yourself. If you deprive yourself of foods you like, chances are you’ll “binge” and eat everything in sight! Indulge here and there, but do not go overboard.
  2. Workout longer. Add extra minutes to your workouts. This will help you to prevent holiday weight gain.
  3. Eat soup such as Minestrone or another alternative. Fill up on soup before your entrée arrives. You’ll feel fuller and will be less likely to eat your entire entrée.
  4. Carry a snack such as a protein bar or low-fat string cheese. If you’re on the go, carry a protein bar or low-fat string cheese with you. After all, you’ll need fuel to finish your holiday shopping.
  5. Sniff Peppermint? There’s something about peppermint that will deter you to eat less. Give it a try and see what it can do for you. If your sinuses are “clogged,” this may help to clear them as well:)
  6. Portion Control. Take small portions of food and do not go back for seconds!
  7. Use a small plate. A smaller plate will not be able to hold a lot of food. Small plates are good to use all year-round. If you use larger plates on a daily basis, consider purchasing small plates. You can go to a discount store and by them for one dollar!
  8. Get plenty of rest. Being sleep deprived is not good for you. Get the daily recommended about of sleep, usually 6-8 hours of sleep each night.
  9. Sit down and eat your food; chew slowly. When you sit down to eat, it can help you to consume less calories during the holidays. Remember to chew your food thoroughly and slowly; put your fork down once in awhile. This will help you to notice when your body sends you a signal that it’s full.
  10. Spice it up! Use spices such as pepper and garlic to spice up your foods. This can help you to eat less.

These are some tips to help you avoid gaining weight this holiday season. You could apply these tips no matter if it’s the holiday season or not. Go ahead and incorporate these tips into your weight loss program now! Your body will thank you for it!

How to Avoid Stress Eating in Times of Economic Uncertainty

The U.S.’s current economic situation is taking its toll on many people. Many are scared of losing their homes, jobs, and sanity. Unfortunately, those who do not have a healthy way to deal with stress often turn to food. It’s the most common way people deal with problems and situations in their lives. This may sound ironic because food prices seem to go up each day.

Before you reach for that candy bar, think about the consequence of your action. Pause for a moment before you reach for the potato chips. Do not let the talk of the economy ruin your weight loss plan.

Think about this for a moment: Do you want to pack on the pounds because the people on Wall Street were given a free pass to financial paradise? Do you think the people who spent money they did not have care whether or not you pack on the pounds? How will eating comfort food solve the economic crisis? It will not; it will just contribute to it.

What to do to avoid stress eating

  1. Go for a walk.
  2. Meditate.
  3. Practice deep breathing.
  4. You’re never too old to go to the park and swing on the swings.
  5. Play with your kids.
  6. Attend FREE community activities.
  7. Read a book.
  8. Rent a movie from the library.
  9. Keep a food journal.

Avoid the temptation of comforting yourself with food. It’s not worth it, especially if you worked hard to take off the pounds. When you grocery shop, make sure to eat a well-balanced breakfast or lunch. Do not shop when you’re hungry because the grocery cart will be filled with foods that will sabotage your weight loss.

Visit my recently published article 10 Tips to Motivate You to Workout on Associated Content and learn how working out can help you avoid stress eating.

What are you doing to avoid “stress eating” during these times of economic uncertainty?

Lose Weight, Keep it Off, and Feel Great!

The Biggest Loser started again. The gym was modified to accommodate this year’s teams because this years “theme” is family. The family that gains weight together can take it off together! Husbands and wives are with trainer Bob and Jillian has parents and children. For photos of past contestants of The Biggest Loser, please visit tv.Yahoo!

Why are people overweight?

Some people are overweight because on a subconscious level their weight acts as a protective barrier for them. It’s a “cushion” for their feelings and a way to avoid getting hurt. Others are overweight because food is a comfort to them.

Before losing weight, it would behoove you to go within yourself to discover the deeper issues as to why you are overweight. Then and only then will you be able to lose weight and keep it off.

What does it take to lose and keep weight off?

Losing weight and keeping it off takes discipline. You must make up your mind to lose the weight once and for all. Losing weight is one challenge, keeping the weight off is another. Most people see their weight go up and down like a yo-yo. The bottom line is that diets do not work. If you deprive yourself of your favorite foods, you are setting yourself up for failure. You are bound to gain the weight back. However, if you know that you would not be able to control yourself when it comes to dessert, look for alternatives that are lower in calories.

Tips to Lose Weight!

  1. Cut out the junk! If you know that you cannot, beyond a shadow of a doubt, have one or two cookies and be satisfied, give them up. Do you know how much sugar is in that soft drink? Diet soft drinks are not any better. Some people incorporate “cheat days,” but if you are not 100 percent sure you will be able to do this then bid dessert farewell. As Shakespeare wrote, “parting is such sweet sorrow.”
  2. Work out, work out, work out! It cannot be stressed enough that exercise is imperative to losing weight. It also strengthens your bones and keeps them healthy. Work out at least three to five times a week.
  3. Drink water, plain water. Stay away from flavored waters. For example, Vitamin Water, has 50 calories, 13 carbs, and 13 sugars! How will this help you lose weight?
  4. Stay away from fast foods. Subway is a great alternative. It’s fresh and you can have it your way!
  5. Portion control your foods. Eat lean meat in 3 -4 ounces. Instead of using ground beef, try give ground turkey or chicken.
  6. Before you purchase food, read the labels. Low fat, fat free, and non-fat are not necessarily good for you. If the manufacturer takes out the fat it will be replaced with other ingredients that are probably not healthy for you.
  7. Eat when you are hungry. Most people eat because they are bored or emotional. Get to the bottom of why, when, and what you eat.
  8. Visualize yourself at your ideal, healthy self! Think it, know it, and believe it.

These are some ways to lose weight, keep it off, and feel great! Remember, every body is different. A low carb, high protein diet may work for you, but it will not work for someone else. As always, consult your doctor before starting a weight loss program. For more tips on losing weight, please visit Everyday Health.

Who Else is Fast Food Illiterate?

Being fast food illiterate is a good thing! For those people who have embarked on a “weight loss” journey, it can be daunting to go back to fast food. Once in awhile, it may be necessary to stop at a fast food restaurant to grab something “quick” to eat. What if you’ve been away from fast food for a long period of time? How do you order? Do you choose drive-thru or go inside the restaurant to place your order? Does the menu have a “lighter” side?

The pressure is on to order the right type of take-out, especially if you choose to go through the drive-thru. A long line of cars filled with “regulars” can form behind you and they want their fast food and they want it now! It’s best to be prepared before walking into a situation that can become heated.

Fast Food 101

The regular fast food restaurants such as McDonald’s, Wendy’s, Taco Bell, or Burger King can be found throughout the USA and other countries. Some fast food restaurants like Sonic are scattered throughout the USA. Of course, Subway is the best way to go, just look at Jared! Subway is global so finding one will not be a problem. This is fantastic for travelers who watch their diet when they travel.

Do research on fast food restaurants. The majority of them can be found online. Review the menu and nutritional content. The burger that gets a “bad rap” may be the healthiest thing on the menu; looks can be deceiving. For example, a Caesar Salad with Chicken from Boston Market has 500 calories with 410 calories from fat. Whereas a Junior Hamburger from Wendy’s has 230 calories with 70 calories from fat. Hold the french fries! Choose a side of Mandarin Oranges because they have 80 calories with no fat!

When in doubt, go inside the fast food restaurant. Stand in the back and peruse the menu. Allow the regulars to place their order first because they will do it with the speed of light. This is a win win situation. They get their food and are in and out. You take your time and feel great about your purchase. The bonus is that you and your diet will come away unscathed!

Waistline Quiz. How Does Yours Measure Up?

Listen up Americans, Japan has implemented mandatory measuring of Japanese waistlines. Japan is not known as an “obese” nation such as The United States of America. In the USA smokers are “berated” as the waistlines of Americans continue to “expand” each year; not for long. Some USA companies are implementing mandatory NO SMOKING policies along with HEALTH REQUIREMENTS. Employees can receive compensation such as bonuses for quitting smoking and losing weight.

Matsushita (known in the USA as Panasonic) has to measure the waistlines of its employees as well as their families and retirees. NEC, Japan’s largest makers of personal computers could face up to $19 million in penalties if the company fails to meet its targets. Ouch! Visit the The New York Times to read the article “Japan, Seeking Trim Waists, Measures Millions.”

If “mandatory measuring” was implemented in America, most people would say it’s a violation of their constitutional rights. Perhaps they have a point. However, with soaring health care costs, corporations would probably welcome the guidelines if it helps to control and cut costs.

Websites that will help you trim your waist!

    Get Healthy with Vitamin World! Find “online vitamins at bottom line prices!” Save more on bonus value items at Vitamin World!

    Snack Healthy & Be Heart Healthy with Genisoy. They are one of the largest providers of soy protein products and sports nutrition in the USA. Try the Apple Cinnamon Soy Crisps, Creamy Rich Ranch Soy Crisps, or Rich Cheddar Cheese Soy Crisps. I can honestly say they are delicious! Try a bag today!

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On a personal note, as a former smoker and woman who carried an extra 100 lbs., I know that it can be difficult to lose weight and throw out the cigarettes. First, make sure you lose the weight for the right reasons! Do it for yourself and your health. Losing weight to please another will not work. Also, you may have deeper issues as to why you are carrying around those extra pounds. Maybe you “subconsciously” view those added pounds as protection from the outside world. Perhaps you had a horrible childhood, a marriage that ended in divorce, or some other traumatic experience. Work on the inside which will reflect the way you look and feel on the outside. This way the weight will stay off for good. So many people “yo-yo” because they did not take the time to work on their inner self. I was one of those people but I’m not anymore!

As for smoking, my new fitness regimen does not allow me to smoke. I made a “new years resolution on January 1, 2007 to quit smoking. Eighteen months later, I’m smoke free! To hike South Mountain Park in Arizona requires me to be in good shape. Those trails are not easy! And, I like the way I look and will do what I have to in order to maintain my weight!

Here’s to your health and shrinking waistline!
~ Rebecca