Author: Brenda Sue

New You

Photo by Ross Findon on Unsplash/new

Caught In The Loop

New goals give us hope for great outcomes! When we see things that we want to change, we automatically begin to consider new possibilities. Pretty quickly our excitement about our metamorphosis begins to be marred by thoughts about previous failures. We begin to think that if we have been unable to lose weight before we won’t be able to lose weight now. Abandoning a workout program in the past haunts us as we make out our new exercise schedule. The specter of failure lingers throughout every day until we eventually begin to identify with the underachiever pictured in our minds.

Photo by Tamas Pap on Unsplash

New Reason…or Old Excuse?

When we listen to our own thoughts about our perceived inability to make positive changes in our lives, we begin to act on those thoughts. We repeat negative behaviors that manifest the same results that brought us to this place to begin with. While some people would view this as a cause for failure, I present a different thought. I believe that we sabotage ourselves with negative thoughts because once we decide to get healthy, make a plan, buy the stuff and begin to implement our plan, we realize that there’s more to this than talk.

As we embark on the journey of changing our nutritional and exercise habits, the harsh reality that new habits are hard work becomes all too real for many. At that time, it’s very easy to just relax and slide right back into what we know. As the old saying goes, “Talk is cheap.” Now it’s time to “Put your money where your mouth is.” Negative self-talk will bring about our most comfortable, instantly gratifying response, chips, cookies and sitting in front of the T.V., so it may not be a reason for failure. It may be a tool that we use to take us back to a temporary comfort zone. Maybe that’s why it can be so hard to stop negative self-talk. Maybe we deliberately set ourselves up for failure to avoid hard work.

To make matters worse, as we constantly feed ourselves negative thoughts our self-esteem plummets and stress rises. Stress always causes a cortisol release and cortisol causes blood sugar to rise. An insulin dump is soon to follow in order to stabilize the rising blood sugar from the cortisol release. All of this see-sawing in the blood sugar and insulin cycle causes cravings, lethargy and repeated bad behavior. We will get genuinely hungry when the insulin kicks in to stabilize the cycle. As we experience hunger, we feel justified to eat anything to satisfy the gnawing in our stomach. So at this point, we have talked ourselves into failure and eaten our way into lethargy. Wouldn’t it be much better to leave off the negative self-talk to begin with?

Photo by Rojan Maharjan on Unsplash

Be Your Own Cheerleader

There’s a reason that athletic teams have cheerleaders. Listening to voices telling you that  you can do it, to go ahead and get it done, and that you are number one will help you accomplish your goals. Do NOT base your outlook for the future based on past failures. Albert Einstein defined insanity as doing the same thing over and over and expecting to get different results. If negative self-talk has not helped you in the past, why would you think that it ever will? You must base your pursuit of change on the expectation of positive outcomes.

Quite often we crave high calorie, sugar-laden junk when we are dealing with negative thoughts and emotions. One way to stop the knee-jerk binge reaction in these situations is to ask yourself the HALT questions. Are you Hungry, Angry, Lonely or Tired? If you are not experiencing hunger but you are experiencing negative emotions, then find an appropriate way to satisfy those negative emotions. The critical factor here is whether you want to progress or stay the same. If you want to progress, you will push yourself to do hard things such as asking yourself these questions and responding appropriately.

Photo by Taylor Simpson on Unsplash

Rewards!

Once you have clarified the source of your conflict and taken action to resolve it, reward yourself! It’s always better to reward yourself with things that help you achieve your goals. New workout clothes, equipment or a gym membership is ALWAYS better than food that got you in trouble to begin with. Addictive food will just pull you backwards. You can even reward yourself with healthy foods that you don’t usually buy because you think they’re too expensive. Sometimes moms won’t buy a food if they are the only one in the family that likes it. Buy it. You worked for it. When I was a child, my mother wouldn’t buy any fruit except apples and bananas because it was too expensive so now, berries and other delicious seasonal offerings are a treat for me. Reward yourself with good things that are good for you. Let’s face it, no one else recognizes the amount of effort that you put into reaching even the smallest milestone in your battle for health and fitness.

 

Photo by krakenimages on Unsplash

Extended Rewards!

When we languish in the past and all of our failures and shortcomings, we set ourselves up for depression and anxiety. Positive thinking and optimism benefits may include: (1)

  • increased life span
  • lower rates of depression
  • lower rates of distress
  • greater resistance to the common cold
  • better psychological and physical well-being
  • better heart health
  • better coping skills

I have heard it said that our greatest weapon against stress is our ability to choose one thought over another. I do believe that is true. Decide today to let the past be passed and design your future as you see fit. Your past failures only have as much power over you as you give them. Your future is up to you.

Create your life.

Photo by Artem Beliaikin on Unsplash

 

(1) Stop negative self-talk to reduce stress – Mayo Clinic News Network

Low Carb Pizza Casserole

4 oz. turkey pepperoni or your meat of choice

4 oz. cream cheese

4 large eggs

1/3 c. heavy cream

1/4 c. Parmesan cheese, grated

1/2 t. minced garlic

1/2 t. dried oregano

2 c. Parmesan, Asiago, Romano cheese blend

2 c. Mozzarella cheese

1/2 c. tomato sauce

Grease 13X9 dish (David prefers a bigger pan and thinner crust. You choose what you prefer)

Preheat oven to 385°.

Combine cream cheese and eggs until smooth. Add cream, 1/4 c. Parmesan, garlic and oregano and blend well. Sprinkle the cheese blend in bottom of pan and then pour the egg mixture over it

Bake 30 min. or until browned.

Spread tomato sauce over the crust. Top with pepperoni and the cover with 2 c. Mozzarella

Broil on low rack in oven until brown and bubbly.

Cool 15 minutes before cutting.

Makes 8 slices

Calories 306

Carbs 4.3 Net Grams

Protein 20.7 Grams

 

 

Fit Over 40 with Muscle

The Lie

Muscle rules! As far back as I can remember, I have heard people say things like, “Well, you know, I’m getting old.” as an excuse to let themselves go. I have known mere girls of 30 who cried for days when they turned 30 because they thought that it meant a descent into fat and frumpy. Men are not immune to this line of thinking. There is some truth in this if you are not proactive concerning your health and your appearance. We are criticized for being vain but the truth is, vanity is a strong motivator, especially as you age. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to look good.

hispanic woman feeling stressed, worried, anxious or scared, with hands on head, panicking at mistake

Frustration!

Many of you know about my lifetime battle with my weight that was only won when I came to David’s Way. Through the years, I had tried endless diets and all kinds of exercises. I had been an avid swimmer, a runner, a pseudo-weight lifter, studied belly dancing, yoga, pilates, tai chi, calesthenics, HIIT training and sent myself to the chiropracter from jumping rope on hard-packed clay. I was in a hustle for that muscle! I used bands, a treadmill, a pull-up station in my home and joined gyms year after year. I had trainers and went to classes. I was my own guinea pig for exercise experiments. I had numerous DVD’s as long as that was a thing. I walked in my home to videos and hiked the Smokies. This is only a partial list of my activities. Let’s not forget bowling.

We know that nutrition is the most important factor in health and fitness and I struggled with that. I was a lifetime member of a well-known weight loss group. They allowed us to eat sugar and although I tracked my food religiously, the sugar cravings would always win out eventually. The weight might come off but it always returned. My muscle was continually declining. What was I doing wrong?!?

Lightbulbs on blue background, idea concept

Epiphany!

When I first began David’s Way, I bought a kettlebell for weight training. When I went into Dick’s Sporting Goods, they had a very serious bell that could be loaded with as much as 50 pounds. I bought it. Yes, there are 200 pound kettlebells but there are also 5 pound bells so a 50 pound bell looked like a challenge. The workouts that I started doing were not wimpy workouts. I could tell that I was beginning to stress my muscles. The workouts were challenging, but before long, I bought a standard barbell. I was about to learn a critical truth.

As I began the Starting Strength Program, it pushed me farther than I had ever gone before . My paltry 35 pound squat began to grow. As much as I feared deadlifting 100 pounds, before long, I was. My “Newbie Gains” got me hopelessly addicted to the Iron. There was no turning back.

The great Truth that was becoming crystal clear was simply that if I wanted amazing results, I had to do amazing things. A short, easy workout was NOT going to get me where I wanted to go. Muscle has to be damaged to repair itself to build. In my 20’s, a little walk around the block might keep me fit but believe me, at 64 it takes a whole LOT more. When I accepted the difficulty of the term, “Body Recomp”, I began to make serious progress. I learned to do hard things.

Book in library with old open textbook, stack piles of literature text archive on reading desk, and aisle of bookshelves in school study class room background for academic education learning concept

Muscle Facts

David wrote an excellent article, Losing Muscle Mass as We Age that discusses the impending change in body composition that accompanies ageing unless we aggressively fight against it. I well remember being a member of that famous weight loss group that allowed every day activity to earn the members more food to eat. Although I knew that this would not work for me, I gave it a try. I religiously tracked all of my food intake and energy output.

The other women in this group were always cleaning their houses and awarding themselves extra food for the activity. None of these woman had significant muscle. I tried counting housework as activity and gained 7 pounds in two weeks. It was not water weight, it was fat. It took me two MONTHS to get it off. Is it any wonder that out of these women, maybe 2% ever got to goal and not all of them were able to maintain their losses. In no time at all, most gained all of the weight back, eating their way into oblivion as they counted the calorie burn for washing dishes to justify eating more food.

As muscle wastes away, the signals that they send to bones to stay healthy begin to fade away, and osteoporosis can be soon to follow. We can walk the dog, do some Pilates or take a little Zumba class if we want to, but to keep the specter of these two age-related maladies away, we need some strength training. ONLY YOUR DOCTOR CAN DECIDE WHAT’S BEST FOR YOU. Talk to him to see how far you can go into strength training and what type.

Unrecognizable man and woman having fitness training with kettlebells in gym

Muscle Machines

There’s everything from elastic bands of different strengths to the barbell. It’s possible that he will recommend only body weight exercise. Performed correctly, it can do amazing things for muscle and bone. I have even read that when lap swimmers push off the wall of the pool at the end of their swimming lane, they build muscle and increase bone density in the hip. The water does provide some resistance and your doctor may only allow swimming until you get stronger or settle significant medical issues.

The point is, I had to work out hard. An evening stroll around the block was not changing my body. I watched as my muscle faded more and more with those wimpy workouts. After seeing your doctor, you may decide that you might benefit from working out as hard as you SAFELY can. When I was 21 years old, I could get in the floor and do calesthentics (body weight exercises) for 20 minutes, a few times a week, and change my body in a short period of time. While I don’t know what it will take for you, at 64 I work out harder than I have ever worked out in my life. It works for me. In three and a half years, my body composition has changed drastically. I began this journey with about 30% body fat. Now, as close as I can measure, I am at 16%. Nothing changed until I changed the intensity of my workouts. I had a clean bill of health from my doctor. NEVER try to push yourself before you have a check-up with your medical doctor where you tell him your exact intentions. Hidden health problems can be exacerbated by strenuous exercise.

You Choose

We are all going to get old but we won’t all get frail. No one is immune to ageing but you have tremendous input into HOW you age. So you tell me, how will that be?

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Your Scale is a Liar!

scale in front of sad woman

The scale, a litany of tears!

Many of us can identify with the pain and suffering of spending a lifetime at war with the bathroom scale. We join groups, buy special food, and exercise ourselves into oblivion and the scale undoes all of our self-confidence. Most of us are trying to get to a weight that we remember being our “happiest”. Some of us have never seen that weight, but have a “magic number” in mind that we believe will give us peace. Our happiness and success in life seem to be attached to that damnable square of plastic in the bathroom floor.

3D rendering of a weight scale with a tight belt

Many Measurements!

We think that we are finding out how much fat we have on our bodies when we get on the scale, but that’s not true! The number of pounds that we weigh tells us little to nothing about how FAT we actually are. This works both ways. You may look bigger than Instagram’s flavor of the morning, but actually have less body fat and it’s also common to be “skinny-fat”, a condition where your body looks small but has an unhealthy body fat percentage. The scale won’t help much in either of these situations. I have always had a little more muscle than most people who are skinny-fat, but I was skinny for a moment one time. The rest of my life, until I came to David’s Way, I have been over-weight. I have lived the drudgery of waiting for the scale to tell me how I feel every day.

The woman measures the thickness of subcutaneous fat with a fat caliper. this can’t be done with scale

Simply the BEST!

I recently ordered the Sequoia Fitness TrimCal 4000 Body Fat Caliper from Amazon. It’s Amazon’s Choice for calipers for good reason. I watched a Physical Therapist, demonstrate how to use it on You Tube at Bob & Brad, “Cheap, Easy Way To Measure Body Fat On Female (Male). Good Skin Fold Caliper.” I was thrilled with the result! I have an electronic scale that is supposed to measure body fat. The Physical Therapist in this video said that those are usually very inaccurate. That was good news to me because that thing said that I had more body fat than I thought I did. The Sequoia Caliper saved the day and my ego! It’s easy to use, especially after watching the Bob & Brad video. The caliper is spring-loaded so it’s more accurate than one that depends on the pressure that you may exert with your fingers.

You can also take body circumference measurements that may not be accurate because sometimes a weight lifter might have a larger neck that can throw those calculations off. There are expensive medical procedures for determining body composition such as  DXA, Hydrostatic Weighing, Air Displacement Plethysmography, Bioelectrical Impedance Analysis, Bioimpedance Spectroscopy, Electrical Impedance Myography, 3-D Body Scanners and Multi-Compartment Models. The Multi-Compartment Model is the most accurate but is often unavailable and expensive when available. For my needs, the body fat caliper will do just fine. It cost me about $12 and it’s highly accurate. The positive confirmation that David’s Way works and that my continued loyalty to the program is paying big dividends is worth much more! The scale alone cannot do this.

What does it matter?

I’ve known women who didn’t care about how much muscle they had as long as they were as small as they wanted to be. Good muscle tissue creates a compact body, so with the proper amount of muscle, you will look smaller. Muscle is vital to all physiological processes in your body. It’s critical in blood sugar management by providing a storage space for glycogen. Carbohydrates are stored rather than left to float around in your blood so your blood sugar levels remain more stable.  Muscle provides support of your musculo-skeletal system and helps to take pressure off of the joints. That translates to fewer aches and pains and better mobility. The same activities that build muscle, tend to build bone. Resistance training increases muscle mass and bone density and helps to preserve mobility and ward off osteoporosis.

When you contrast these benefits to the hazards of obesity, the importance of having a muscular lean body at a low body fat is clear. Obesity plays a role in death and disability. It is known to be directly involved in the development of cancer, heart attacks, strokes, high blood pressure, diabetes, fatty liver and even some mental illness such as depression. Which scenario sounds more appealing?

The Truth

Your scale will only tell you a partial truth and any way that you manipulate it, a partial truth is a whole lie. To be the best that you can be, find out how FAT you are. A body fat caliper is an easy, inexpensive way to do just that. Then the scale won’t dictate the order of your days.

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Beyond The Scale

Skin Care During Weight Loss

 

Photo by Rafaella Mendes Diniz on Unsplash

Losing weight when our body fat is too high is one of the best things that we can do for ourselves. Never let the naysayers and the people who are trying to keep you down convince you that it will make you “look old”. I wish I had a dollar for every time that I heard that. Nowadays I look like their daughter and some of them are younger than me.

Lose S-L-O-W-L-Y

Slow weight loss is best for your skin. It gives the skin time to adapt. Whatever elasticity you have in your skin will best be served by a slow loss. Even plateaus are good when it comes to your skin. We make new skin cells constantly with all of them being replaced every 28-30 days. If we make slow changes, this cellular turnover can repair a lot of damaged cells and help retain more elasticity.

Hydrate

Our skin needs water, inside and out. Even though hot showers feel so good in cold weather, they can strip the oils from your skin. Oils hold moisture in your skin and the moisture is what makes your skin soft and supple.  Use lukewarm water for your showers, baths, face and hands and moisturize immediately afterward. I use facial moisturizers on my body because they are higher quality. Yes, they cost more but we tend to put our money on what is important to us. My body is the only place that I have to live so I want it to be beautiful and strong. Keep moisturizers close by your bathtub, all of your sinks, in your car and in your purse. Use them often. Using a humidifier in your home can put moisture back into the air in your home and prevent your skin from drying out. Drinking enough water to keep your urine straw colored will keep your body well hydrated. It is possible to drink too much water, so just keep your urine at this stage. I have known of people who wanted to drink water until their urine was clear. That’s not necessary. 

Moisturizers

Choose your moisturizers carefully. Use oil based moisturizers instead of water based. The water based products will quickly dissipate leaving you with no protection.

Protect

Wear gloves and scarves to protect your skin from cold.  Always wear sunscreen, even in the Winter. Winter sun can be just as damaging as Summer. The sun damages DNA which leads to wrinkles, sagging and skin cancer.

Exfoliate

Regardless of how much we spend on moisturizers, if we apply them over a layer of dead skin, they won’t work. Gently exfoliate everywhere, face, including lips, and body.  I love my net body scrubber and you can buy them for $1 at most drug stores. When considering exfoliation for your face and lips, know your skin type. Don’t over do and wind up red and irritated. Proceed with caution.  

Avoid Sugar

Sugar molecules bombard healthy fats and proteins and make them stiff and malformed. These deformed molecules are actually called AGEs, Advanced Glycation End products.  I think that about says it all. This results in wrinkles and sagging.

Avoid Cigarettes

They deplete Vitamin C stores which are used in collagen production.  If you don’t have the ingredients to build new skin then guess what, you’re stuck with old skin. It will look like it.

Avoid Alcohol

Alcohol dehydrates your skin.  It is also a source of hidden sugar that will cause the same effects as the sugar in a snack cake. It will cause food cravings and lower your inhibitions so that your weight fluctuates and causes your skin to have to accommodate constant weight changes.

Sleep

Our skin repairs itself while we sleep. Notice the difference in the way you look after being up all night and after a good night’s sleep.  Get your zzzzzzzz’s.

Exercise

Always get your doctor’s permission before beginning any exercise program.  While cardio gets your heart rate up and burns some fat, resistance training will do that and also build shapely muscles to keep your skin contours beautiful. Think about a balloon. While it’s inflated it’s nice and taut but let the air out and you have a loose bag.  There is something called body recomposition where we lose fat and build muscle.  That’s what I do to keep the bag full.  I want to be shapely with nice contours and strength.  I am a strong advocate of women’s strength training.

Supplements

There are some supplements that may help with your skin.  I take Vitamin C to boost collagen production.  You may want to investigate this venue but proceed with caution.  There are a lot of empty promises in this area.  A good high protein diet will give your skin the building blocks it needs. If a supplement has an exorbitant price tag, be suspicious. Research before spending too much money. I have found excellent supplements at good prices at puritan.com , Puritan’s Pride.

Nutrition

The high protein program that we recommend supplies the much needed amino acids for the building blocks of healthy skin.  We also recommend low carb and that is especially good for your skin because it limits the amount of sugar available in the body.  All carbs eventually break down into sugar.

If you follow these tips, you can loose body fat with less impact to your skin.  It takes work just like the rest of your self improvement program but the end result is more than worth it.

 

 

 

 

Vacation Fun in a Swimsuit!

Mature woman posing with a surfboard on the beach

Vacation Paradise!

I well remember the trips that we took to Panama City Beach, Florida when I was a child! I LIVED for those vacations. By the time that I was about 4 years old, I had figured out that I could delay the anxiety associated with leaving the beach if I thought about Christmas when it was time to go back home. Until then, I cried like my heart was broken every time that we had to leave that perfect world. The sand there is crystalline white and the water is usually turquoise. Nothing is as exhilarating as the salty breeze gently caressing your face while your hair wafts in the wind. I was convinced that Heaven had to be on Earth every time we went to that pristine paradise.

Vacation Anxiety

Many of you know my story about my mom telling me that I was fat at the age of 4. I weighed 40 pounds, so I wasn’t fat. After her remark to the contrary, however, I began to feel self-conscious in a swimsuit. Since we hardly ever went swimming anywhere except on those vacations, I had to have a new swimsuit to get ready to go on vacation every year. Those trips were dreadful.

I would ransack the clothes racks for suits that I liked and my mother would tell me why I couldn’t wear them, one by one. Eventually, I would leave the store with a suit that my mother had picked out to help disguise my “problem”. I also had to appease the standard that my dad’s church people had put into place. The suit had to be exceedingly modest. Every year, I wore a “nice girl”, one-piece, structured suit that I didn’t like. After all that hoopla, the beach became my testing ground instead of my paradise. Looking forward to paradise would forevermore be tainted with anxiety and way too much self-awareness.

Do the Work!

Once we become self-conscious, it takes years of hard work to find the balance that will allow us to accept the idea to “Be the best that YOU can be.” (David Yochim) The pressure to be beautiful is even greater now with Instagram burning altered images of “perfect” bodies into our brains all the time. Even if we don’t look for those images, they will still flood the feed. Those images are what sells Instagram. I could write an entire article about how the models get those pictures but I would be even farther off course if I did that!

Along with fighting anxiety and low self-esteem, as we struggle to be rock star impressive, we better be on guard against the self-lovely idea that regardless of what shape we’re in, we’re still “lovely”. That idea is an excuse to let ourselves get fat and unhealthy. Balance creates an inner peace that cannot be obtained if we constantly bounce back and forth between mouse and diva. Odds are, neither persona is accurate.

Most of us will navigate our way around the edges of life, waiting for someone “important” to tell us that we’re a writer, or an athlete or even a good mom. In order to create balance, we have to find ways to cope, behaviors that create whatever we want to achieve in life.  If you are like many people who dread that swimsuit, there are still ways to feel better about the way that you look on the beach and have a great vacay! Get a good restorative respite under your belt and commit to count your calories and this time next year, you’ll have a different attitude when you go shopping for your suit. A good vacation will lower the fat-depositing hormone cortisol, so it’s a great way to get a little boost to start your program with confidence.

Cheerful plus size woman taking a selfie at the beach

Vacation Readiness

When we wear clothing that exposes parts of our bodies that seldom see the light of day,  we need to make sure that we have prepped our bodies. By spending a little time in the three weeks or so before vacay caring for ourselves, we will walk out of the motel room with much more confidence and swagger than if we just wriggle into the offending piece of clothing at the last minute and hope for the best.

1-Remove body hair. Yes, I know, some cultures don’t do this. Okay, that’s fine. Unless you are from a culture that doesn’t remove superfluous hair, make SURE to remove all hair from your legs, arm pits and bikini area. You choose the method that you are most comfortable with but remember, sunlight will find every single one that is left behind. Even check your toes. Hair can sprout up ANYWHERE. Consult your doctor for his advise about what method to use and make sure to keep antibiotic ointment handy. Every hair follicle is a potential infection. Be clean and careful and smooth as silk.

2- Find a suit that makes you feel AWESOME! That doesn’t mean the suit you saw on Instagram or one like your friend has. It means the one that shows off your best assets in a way that makes you strut!

3-Just as your suit should enhance your best features, it should camouflage any body part that you aren’t quite ready to put on display. If your legs are your best feature, choose a suit with a high-cut leg with attention-getting, colorful features around the leg. If you don’t want to showcase your breasts, stick to the more modest necklines in muted colors. Work your best features!

4-If you know that certain foods bloat your belly then DON”T eat those foods when you are going to be wearing your swimsuit! I quit drinking Diet carbonated drinks solely because of the bloating effect that they have on my body. There are good, whole, healthy foods that I also avoid in order to be more comfortable in my skin. I work hard to be healthy and have body confidence, I’m not willing to impact the look that I have so meticulously worked for just to appease a craving or appetite. Although at one time I would have doubted it, I can live just fine without carbonation. When I eat dairy, I take dairy enzymes that help to digest dairy products easily with no bloat. Always consult your medical doctor about any supplementation that you might want to take.

Tips to Beat Bloating

5-Exfoliate in the shower with whatever method that you choose. I like one of those net scrubbies. You may use body scrubs or even a good coarse washcloth. Whatever method you choose will make you look more toned and healthy as the exfoliation accelerates blood flow and your skin takes on a rosy glow.

6-Stick to your workout schedule! Exercise causes a temporary “pump” in your muscles that looks great and it is associated with less depression, elevated mood and increased self-esteem.

7-Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize!!!

8-Wear sunscreen and reapply frequently. Burnt skin is not attractive.

9-Although natural tans damage the skin, self-tanners and spray-on tans do not. There are also waterproof body make-ups to hide any bruises that might mar your canvas. These products give your body a smoother appearance and make you feel great!

10-STRUT! True confidence is attractive! After you have bought THE suit, prepped your body, beat the bloat, pumped your muscles and finessed your canvas, hold your head high and ENJOY YOUR VACATION! It might only come once a year. It does for most people. DON’T MISS the benefits of getting away by stressing and raising your cortisol levels.

 Positive Reinforcement

Avoid alcohol, over-eating, excess salt and sugar to keep your work on display and not only will you look amazing while you’re on vacation, you will be well on your way to wearing a smaller size suit next year.

Happy Summer!

 

 

Cookbook of Healthy Living & No Regrets Review

cookbook and mixing bowl

Wonderful Work!

Here at David’s Way to Health and Fitness we teach taking control and creating a life that you love. We teach that our health is largely in our hands, most of the time. Nowhere is this exemplified better than in this amazing book! Jayne J. Jones was at the doorway of death and completely turned her life around by taking control and making healthy choices. By the Grace of God, her husband got her to the hospital just in time to save her life. She created this sugar-free cookbook with the knowledge that she has acquired in the last 18 months.

This beautiful hardcover book is available on her website https://nosugarbaker.com/ for only $23.95. You can also purchase it from Amazon. It’s beautiful to look at and chock full of amazing sugar-free recipes. Jane’s story is in the beginning of the book and it’s guaranteed to inspire you to take control of your health. She is an excellent role-model for anyone wanting to become proactive in their own health.

Since we help people with healthy weight loss when it’s needed, you might be interested to know that Jayne lost 60 pounds and dropped 4 dress sizes when she got real about survival. She came to her health crisis with no foreknowledge that she was ill. As soon as she became aware of the critical nature of her diagnosis of diabetes, she began to make changes. We beg you to do this in every article we publish. She has put in the work and she is reaping the rewards.

The book has a detailed Table of Contents that makes it easy to find the recipe that you want. The graphic art and beautiful, color pictures add so much to the artistic appeal of this book. It’s coffee table worthy. Jane herself is a lovely, petite blonde that looks to be the picture of health. She is  proof that her lifestyle, the very one that we strongly encourage, works. She works hard and is a loving wife and mother. Jayne is also a college professor, lawyer and advocate for children with disabilities.

Sometimes when we see people who successfully navigate their health, we tend to believe that they are sitting in an ivory tower, isolated from real life. That gives us an excuse to remain the same. Jane has proven that a real person living a real life, who works and tends to a family every day, can make these simple changes. Although she knew nothing about how to improve her health at the time of diagnosis, she made it her business to learn everything that she possibly could to change the outcome. She is a busy woman who cooks her own food, unlike celebrities who have a private chef. She leaves you with no excuses. Her vision was gone and her blood pressure was the highest that I have ever heard of when she turned her life around. Don’t ever think that it’s too late to take care of yourself. You just might get a miracle.

Jayne was gracious enough to give us an email interview. We asked her the following questions. Here are her replies.

1-Did you ever consider diabetes being a reality for you?

You know, I did Google diabetes symptoms once in awhile but no doctor ever used the D word with me. Now, we believe I’ve been diabetic for at least 15, possibly 20 years!!

2-Before you began getting sick, did you have any other symptoms?

Some, but never put two and two together. I had terrible stomach aches, so I went cold turkey on soda. They continued, so I went cold turkey on red meat and instead ordered a boatload of sides….all pure sugar and I’d still get sick!!

3-If you had any thoughts that you could be diabetic, did you consider changes to your diet?

Not because I thought I was diabetic, I thought it was the soda…the red meat. I was CLUELESS!!

4-Would you have changed if you had not been diagnosed with diabetes?

I had no choice, after being in the ER my vision was gone for 3 weeks. I don’t look back. I look forward. New me, new health. Now my vision is 20/20 AGAIN!!

5-Is there a message that you would like to spread to others about sugar and how it has impacted your life?

Read my blog https://nosugarbaker.com/ from day one. It will change how you see your own health and the impact of sugar on your body.

6-How did you feel when you realized that you had to learn a different way of eating and cooking?

At first, tremendous amount of guilt. I was pissed, at myself. For 5 months, I was angry, frustrated and overwhelmed. Then I got my Spunk back and watch out Ha!! Medicine free, 60 lbs lighter and vision 20/20!!

7-Did you think that it could be done?

I didn’t have a choice. I was told if I didn’t get healthy I’d have 4-5 years to live. I rolled up my sleeves and went to work. Life is too important to not understand the pure blessing of every day you are given. So for me, if the choice is a candy bar OR my eyesight, years to live, it’s not debatable.

8-How did you learn a new way to cook?

Pure experiment and commitment. I don’t cheat. I can’t or I get sick.

9- How does the quality of your life now compare with the quality of your life before the diagnosis?

I feel absolutely wonderful!!!! Loads of energy! Haha!!

We are forever grateful for the opportunity to share the work of this health warrior. She is doing exactly what we beg you to do, by taking the actions recommended to her by her physician to turn her health around. ALWAYS consult your medical doctor before beginning ANY weight loss program. David’s Way to Health and Fitness is NOT a medical advisor.

 

 

 

Excuse to Avoid Weight Loss?

Photo by Guillaume Bolduc on Unsplash ;excuse

Never-ending Cycle

I can remember years of frustration caused by being unable to control my appetite. Every time I came up with a good excuse, logic screamed that I was wrong.  I knew that anything other than the truth that I just ate too much was simply an excuse but many people are trapped in the mentality of “It’s just not my fault!”  That in itself is an excuse. Most of the time, overweight is entirely our fault. Here’s some ways to finally get over yourself and break the deadly habit of excusing bad behaviors.

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The Number 1 Excuse!

As long as we blame other people, or circumstances, for our weight problem, we will not change. You can’t fix something if you feel helpless in the face of it. If you perceive yourself as a victim of circumstances, you will remain a victim. When you decide to go to the drive-through and then proceed to order too much food and eat every bit of it, don’t blame your boss for stressing you out. By filling up on poor food choices, you just increased your stress and the number on the scale. No one made you do that so why are you doing it to yourself? It is your responsibility alone to do the things that will make you feel better, not worse. Own it. This is probably the lamest of all the excuses that we use to remain unchanged and miserable.

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Get UP!

Sometimes when we eat something we shouldn’t eat, we tend to just give up on the whole day. I did that for years. It’s an absurd behavior. If you fall down and skin your knee will you scrape that knee on the sidewalk over and over? Probably not! So why on Earth would you get in the car and go to Dairy Queen for an XL Blizzard if you eat a cookie? I can tell you why from experience. You wanted to do that to begin with and so you set yourself up for failure. Very few people eat a perfect diet or live a perfect life. If you cave and eat something that you should not, get back on track IMMEDIATELY, not at the next meal or the next day, NOW. Otherwise the trend will continue and you’ll spiral completely out of control. Again, this is an excuse to give up. It doesn’t even make sense.

Don’t Use Loser Labels as an Excuse!

Quit thinking of yourself as a “fat girl” or “fat boy”. Regardless of who or what you were in Junior High School or what your mother said that you were at Christmas, what matters is what you are NOW. Now you are a Health Freak Newbie, a Fitness Freak Beginner. You are NOT the sum of past failures. Ditch that mentality to move forward. Quit identifying with failure. Become an athlete or a nutritional whiz kid. Yesterday and all of the excuses that were there are gone. Don’t hang on to loser labels to use as an excuse “just in case” this weight loss thing doesn’t work. I promise “It” will work, IF  you work it.

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

Avoid Your Danger Zones

I don’t keep peanut butter in the house, not because it’s a bad food, but because I have trouble controlling how much I eat. It’s easy to begin living almost entirely on peanut butter if I keep my favorite brand in the house, so I NEVER buy it, NEVER. I keep peanut butter powder which provides a nice peanut flavor, and a bit of protein, to my protein shakes and I don’t ever think of overeating that. While it’s good, it’s nowhere near as good as my favorite brand. I well remember saying that I was “on a diet” and still buying not only that wonderful peanut butter but ICE CREAM, regular ice cream, and saying that I would just measure it. Little did I know that the sugar in that regular ice cream would make that almost impossible. If you can’t control it, DON”T have it in your home as a plan to fail.

If you can’t eat out successfully then don’t eat out! For Heaven’s sake don’t go to bars and drink alcohol. The atmosphere is not conducive to healthy choices. Yes, you can live without the night life. It just depends on whether or not you want to. Any social get-together that involves foods or drinks that you will use as an excuse to lose control should be avoided. You know what they are. Again, don’t provide yourself with a way to fail.

Photo by Kevin McCutcheon on Unsplash

Use What You’ve Got

Build on your strengths. If you like to cook, this is your time to shine! Buy new cookbooks or look online for new healthy recipes and ideas. Friends that are health conscience can be your go-to for ideas and inspiration. Instead of dismissing them, talk to them. More than likely they will be more than happy to share their knowledge and ideas.

If you have a great produce market nearby or a store with a good butcher that will provide you with good, lean cuts of meat, take advantage. Dust the old bicycle or the forgotten gym membership that you paid for but never used, off and give them a spin. Live in a nice area for walking? Get out of the house and go. As David says, “Walking is the best restorative exercise.” It’s quick, easy, cheap and convenient. It only cost the price of a pair of comfortable, supportive shoes. So many times we ignore tools and strengths that can make a huge difference if we will only use what we’ve got. Quit saying that you could lose weight if you had “her” money or “his” genetics and get it done. Ignoring strengths is an obvious way of planning early to fail, otherwise we would utilize every skill and tool that we have.

Photo by Becca McHaffie on Unsplash

Get Rid Of Old Clothes

WHATEVER you do, DON”T keep clothes that are too big for you, “just in case”. That is giving yourself license to fail. Having to buy a whole new wardrobe is pretty good incentive to keep your weight down. By holding on to larger clothes, you are giving yourself an excuse to gain every single pound back, every time you lose enough for those clothes to look baggy. This can keep you see-sawing back and forth with the same 10-20 pounds for the rest of our life. Throw them away. Don’t even keep them in the house long enough to donate them. By saying that you’re keeping them to donate, you’re just keeping them in your house. They may lay there for weeks, months or years. All that time, you are giving yourself an excuse to stay right where you are or regain lost pounds. It’s not a coincidence that you can’t, or won’t, permanently lose weight when you do this. It’s by design.

So much of weight loss is in our mindset. Quit making excuses today and see where that decision takes you!

Mindset

Stay Full and Lose Weight!

 

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Common Misconception

Eating to stay full could be a challenge in the diet era that I grew up in. I well remember years of my life growing up in a home where I was constantly on a diet. My mother believed that 1000 calories per day was the magic number for weight loss, although I was 5’6″ tall in the 8th grade. I had the body of an adult with a little muscle to boot. There was no way that 1000 calories was enough food for me to be anything except miserable.

 

Photo by Masahiro Naruse on Unsplash

While my mother cooked all of our meals and they were healthy food, sometimes they were calorie dense. I typically had 250 calories for breakfast, 250 for lunch and 500 for supper. A typical meal in our home was meatloaf, mashed potatoes, green peas and cornbread or rolls. 500 calories did not get me a very full plate of that. By supper time I was ravenous due to low calorie intake during the day and 500 calories was just enough to tease me, especially when those 500 calories were made up of heavy Southern food. Between too few calories and the wrong food choices, my diets didn’t last long enough to make me skinny. Extreme hunger gave way to “cheating” on my diet and when my mom found out, she refused to help me any more. This cycle repeated itself until losing weight seemed like a torture chamber.

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Signs of The Times

Photo by pure julia on Unsplash

Have you ever noticed how the standard of beauty is continually changing? When I was under the age of about 10, curvaceous women were considered desirable. That seemed easy enough for young girls, as long as we managed to develop breasts, and most of us did. We had gotten to this very impressionable, critical time of our young lives thinking that was about all there was to being good-looking and then, everything changed. Eating to stay full was not a part of our lives.

photo by emiliano-vittoriosi-h7dWAkvPqOA-unsplash.jpg

Suddenly gaunt, bony, heroin-chic models were everywhere with their cheeks pulled in and their flat chests brazenly displayed in see-through, braless tops. Those of us who were approaching puberty with great anticipation of what was about to happen in our bodies, were suddenly taken aback as curves started showing up. As a generation, we starved ourselves and plunged into depression as sharp angles gave way to feminine softness. There was no way to avoid pain much less stay full. We were doomed to be fat. It became the norm to avoid eating altogether. We would never eat to stay full, only to ease the pain of the constant hunger that we all lived with every day. As soon as we felt like we could stand it another minute, we stopped eating. None of us learned how to eat healthy. We only learned that food was our sworn enemy.

Photo by Georgie Cobbs on Unsplash

REVOLUTION!

After being mercilessly tortured by society for years and falling prey to every fad diet that came down the track, a new culture began to emerge. Skipping right over the self-lovely, fat-acceptance trend, a group of women emerged that wanted to be the best that we can be. We chose to conform neither to the ever-changing trends of media and fashion OR to the feminist/self-lovely trend of ignoring fitness. As we found our equilibrium and came into a state of balance, we discovered that we can be curvy and athletic without being fat, unhealthy or ashamed of wanting to look good. Eating to stay full became a necessity.

While different cultures do have different ideas about what is attractive, there is nothing wrong with wanting a fit, healthy body at a body fat percentage that is pleasing to the eye. You can be whoever you want to be but for a huge number of proactive women, we stand united in the thought that it’s not only okay to strive to control our weight, but that it’s a good thing. The new body image that has emerged is a fit woman with adequate muscle for strength and self-reliance and low enough body fat percentage to wear anything we want to wear, (or not!) with  ultimate confidence.

It’s a common misconception that great bodies are made in the gym. While I am a fitness enthusiast, all of the strength training or cardio in the world will not give you a great shape if you eat too much. There is a skill to eating enough to stay full but keeping your calorie count low enough to have a good body fat percentage. It’s simply exactly what we teach, fill up on good, whole healthy foods and avoid added sugars and most processed foods most of the time. Learn to budget your calories like you budget money. Make them go as far as you can and you will stay satisfied and have the energy and stamina to get through your workouts.


Photo by Jeff Covey on Unsplash

Photo by Randy Fath on Unsplash

Eating to Stay Full Is All In Your Choices

The top picture is about 330 calories of muscle building protein and a bit of complex carbs in the green beans while the THREE servings of French Toast with butter AND regular pancake syrup are about 800-900 calories and tons of simple carbohydrates from all that white bread. Do I really have to elaborate? As we always tell you, weight management is about calories in-calories out. That French Toast breakfast will also leave you ravenous in a short period of time as those simple carbs break down into sugar and demand an insulin dump. I didn’t even count the orange juice, That’s another 100 or so calories of fruit sugar. This meal will not help you to stay full.

Photo by Kenneth Mallia on Unsplash

Photo by Jonathan Borba on Unsplash

The grilled chicken salad pictured above is approximately 300 calories of great, lean protein and complex carbs that will fuel a workout. The burger as big as your head, pictured here with the washtub of fries is every bit of 1000 calories. Add in the ever-present milkshake and you just ate your calories for the day. This is a no-brainer. There’s nothing wrong with a good, 4-6 ounce burger patty on a whole grain bun with condiments that are weighed and measured. As is usually the case at fast food joints, this one here is just over-the-top. If you want a burger, have it, at home where YOU control the weight of every single ingredient. Serve it up on a whole grain bun and enjoy. You can even have French fries IN MODERATION. Slice them about the size of a pencil, ONE medium potato per person and simmer them in about 1 Tablespoon of olive oil per person. Drain them well, measure your oil and count the calories of how much your fries absorbed. You DON’T NEED a quart of oil to make fries. A home-made burger meal like this is delicious and will help you stay full for hours.

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Photo by Ulysse Pointcheval on Unsplash

The luscious steak dinner pictured above will cost you about 500 calories and supply large amounts of protein and trace minerals to build muscle and strength. Nothing helps you stay full like a steak dinner! If you eat at a buffet, the sky is the limit. While you may be able to be conservative at a buffet and make wise choices, the odds are against you. If you choose the buffet, you are intending to overeat. Order from the menu or go somewhere else altogether. Remember, YOU are in control of your life. Don’t leave these critical decisions to anyone else.

Your Most Important Body Part to Stay Full

We often refuse to use the tool that will make more difference in our lives than any other. We all have one. Agreeably, some are in better shape than others but if you’ve gotten this far in this article, yours is working pretty good. It’s your brain. THINK about what you are putting in your mouth. Download My Fitness Pal, or some other calorie counting app, and log your food. If you don’t want to do that then for God’s sake, write it down. We have a calorie/macronutrient chart that you can access here  with the calories listed for many foods. You can also look up the calorie content of any food online simply by typing in “calories (name of food)”.

Becoming conscientious of what you eat will take practice but it’s the most important thing that you can do to manage your weight and get the body that you want. Start logging your food today and never quit. Let it be as much a part of eating as opening your mouth. In no time at all you will see a difference. I promise.

Eating On The Run

Sugar-Free No-Bake Peanut Butter Cookies

Photo by Tetiana Bykovets on Unsplash

Nutritional  Info

Serves 24

Calories 161

Carbs 4.9 grams

Fat 13.6 grams

Protein 3.7 grams

Ingredients

1 1/2 cup smooth, unsweetened peanut butter melted (plus more for drizzling)

1 cup coconut flour

1/4 cup packed Brown Swerve

1 teaspoon vanilla

Pinch of salt

2 cups sugar free dark chocolate (You can use Sugar-Free Hershey’s Kisses if you like)

1 Tablespoon  coconut oil

Directions

Combine the peanut butter, coconut flour, brown Swerve, vanilla and salt and stir til smooth.

Line a baking sheet with parchment. Using a small cookie scoop, form mixture into rounds then press down lightly to flatten slightly and place on baking sheet. Freeze until firm, about 1 hour.

Whisk together melted chocolate and coconut oil.

Dip cookie rounds into chocolate until fully coated then return to baking sheet. Drizzle with more peanut butter then freeze until chocolate  sets, about 10 minutes.

Serve cold. Store leftovers in freezer.