How to Nudge Your Loved Ones Toward Healthier Lifestyle Habits
It is nearly impossible to “help” close friends and family members with their health and fitness issues. The best way to help loved ones is 1.) Be a positive power of example and 2.) Detach with love from their bad habits (and really mean it). In other words, you can’t change them. What you can do is take care of your own health and express your love and concern. In other words, if your spouse is overweight with subsequent health problems, tell them about your desire to have a long and happy, active life with them well into the future. Then, put on your exercise clothes and go out and take care of yourself!
If you notice attempts at positive changes, you might want to reinforce the changes without seeming condescending. If you usually go for a long run, and your spouse has finally started going for walks, be careful not to overshadow their accomplishment. Pay attention and pick up on cues for how you can support them.
In any case, while taking care of yourself you can ask for their support. This may involve certain considerations and adjustments to support your health choices. For example, if you are working hard at weight management, you may ask that your loved ones support your efforts by not bringing junk food into the house. Or you may need to ask for understanding when you take time away from the family to do your exercise. In being transparent about the real effort that is required to make difficult changes you are showing your loved ones how they might make changes as well.
Love Your Body – Now!
By Cindy Clemens, Life Coach
A few days ago I was looking through some old photographs and I saw a picture of myself in a – gasp – bathing suit from about ten years ago. I remember looking at that picture shortly after it was taken, focusing on the flaws in my body. The not-so-flat stomach, a waist that was not very svelte, and a small piece of back fat were all that I could see or think about at that time.
But now, looking at that same photograph ten years later, I was stunned by how good my body did look. I did not have my current face wrinkles, arm flappers, or general lowering of everything. How I would love to have that body now. It made me seriously ponder why ten years ago I had been so ready to let the perceived flaws prevent me from enjoying my beautiful, strong, healthy body.
Of course this led me to wonder how much I was still doing this. Was I enjoying my body right now? Because I am sure that in ten years I would be very happy to have this body. And a further question was how much I was able to allow my husband to enjoy my body right now. He honestly did seem to enjoy looking at and touching my body, but I often discounted his compliments with my negative thoughts about how my body appeared to me.
Certainly my body has changed over the years. So has my husband's, and since we have been together for over 30 years, I have witnessed his changes. Yet I still love the feel, the warmth and the sensuality of his body. Perhaps I should assume he feels the same about me and move on with fully loving, caring for and pampering my body just as it is.
Weight Loss Tips
By Dr. Brad Crump, Health Services Manager
Contrary to most thinking, small changes we make in our lifestyle choices such as nutrition and exercise make significant improvements in our overall health and wellness. Experience shows that individuals who gravitate to an "all or nothing" attitude tend to experience the most failure and tend to be the most discouraged. This usually leads to a return of unhealthy habits. Building a solid foundation through small progressive and consistent steps usually leads to more realistic and long term changes. Enjoy the journey!
Red Mountain Resort & Spa focuses on personal evaluations so that specific and individualized action plans can be put into place. We are then able to design a nutrition program or an exercise program that is tailor made for that individual. Red Mountain also offers a wide variety of programs and services that help each individual identify areas of need as well as find activities that they are passionate about. This tends to increase their sense of purpose, motivates them and provides them a network of professionals to help encourage and follow up with their progress.
The most important steps for weight loss and healthy eating habits really revolve around understanding personal needs. It is also important to help an individual determine what their specific goals are and to establish a time frame that is realistic to achieving those goals. In addition, scheduling those activities becomes important. Just as we schedule work related activities, we need to schedule exercise time and eating times and be consistent and true to those “appointments.”
To become a habit, an activity must be performed consistently over a period of time. The reason most people stop exercising or eating right is that they do not see results, the find it too challenging (feels like too much work), they feel they do not have the time or they lack family or social support.
Here are some ways to take small steps and implement the spa experience at home:
- Schedule exercise and eating times. Make sure that these times are realistic and obtainable. Rome was not built in day. Enjoy the small changes and the experience of change.
- Involve the family. Find activities that the family can do together and that everyone enjoys. Join a walking group or get friends together a few times a week for group exercise. There tends to be strength in numbers as well as accountability and support.
- Think positive. The surest way to fail is negative “self talk.” Whether you think you can or think you can’t, you are probably right. The universe tends to give us what we ask for.
- Choose a healthy recipe to prepare each week. This will get you into a more healthy way of eating and will help see how healthy eating can be delicious as well.
There are a number of books and resources available. Here are a few that can be of great benefit:
- “Organizing from the Inside Out” by Julie Morgenstern
- “Life is a Do-Over” by Cindy Clemens
- “Grocery Shopping Made Easy” by Chris Mohr and Kara Mohr (DVD)
- “Ultra prevention” and “The Ultra Simple Diet” by Mark Hyman
What Do You Reflect?
By Dr. Brad Crump, Health Services Manager
Once again, we find ourselves asking “Where did the year go? What happened to all of the goals I set, the ones I said would transform my life once and for all?”
When you look in the mirror, what do you see? Not just what is reflected in the mirror, but beneath the surface? Like an iceberg, only a third of that iceberg is seen above water. In addition, all icebergs are different in shape and size. Now is the time to see that we are uniquely different and, therefore, need a more unique approach.
Let’s reflect on one of the most common goals people set. If you are like the majority of Americans, one of those unachieved goals was changing your diet and losing weight. Given the fact that you had found success with earlier popular diets, along with the expected return of the lost weight, you felt it wise to do it again. Unfortunately, you may have been through this scenario numerous times with the accompanying feelings of guilt and despair, throwing your arms up in the air and proclaiming, “What’s the use?”
This reminds me of the popular definition of insanity, which is “doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.” Maybe it is time to start adopting the old counsel “If it sounds too good to be true….”
Let’s make a goal to return back to the healthful dietary habits that are proven and sound and, unlike many “flash in the pan” programs, actually lead to long lasting weight loss and health. Let’s revisit some healthy nutrition principles that if followed, will lead to healthy weight loss.
- Jumpstart your day with a nutritious breakfast. One should never skip this meal.
- Always have protein and good fats with all your meals.
- Increase fiber intake to 30 to 50 grams daily.
- Eat detoxifying foods like broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage and brussel sprouts.
- Eat small meals and snacks throughout the day.
- Go “wild” with salmon.
- Eat more nuts, seeds and legumes.
- Avoid artificial sweeteners.
- Make sure that you eat enough calories to meet your Resting Metabolic Rate.
- Refrain from eating at least two hours before going to bed.
- Eat a colorful diversity of low-glycemic fruits and vegetables.
- Minimize or eliminate refined and processed flours and sugars.
Reflecting back on our successes as well as failures helps us to identify those approaches that will most benefit us. Start looking beneath the surface and you will find answers leading to health and happiness.
Here’s looking at you kid!
How Many Calories Do I Need?
Determining precise caloric need can be quite scientific and complex, but estimating a reasonable calorie level is often simple.
Caloric need is affected by age, gender, body size, body composition, fitness level, environment, food intake, daily activity level, exercise, hormonal status and health status. Energy requirement calculations usually examine basal metabolic rate (BMR) which is the amount of calories required to sustain the body when asleep for a 24 hour period. Resting metabolic rate (RMR) looks at the same 24 hour period, but is increased slightly, because the individual is awake, but not active. Daily activity not including programmed exercise is assessed, and an activity factor of 1.1-1.7 is assigned; the RMR is multiplied by this factor. Then, calories expended per week on programmed exercise, such as weight lifting, running, aerobics classes are totaled and an average calculated per day. In more extensive calculations, the thermic effect of food (TEF) may also be calculated. It should be noted that not all professionals are in agreement regarding the best formulas to estimate caloric need. Often, experience of the assessor is an important factor in the accuracy of the assessment.
A calorie need assessment might look like this:
+ 75-200 = RMR
X Activity Factor (1.1-1.7)
+ daily average expenditure on exercise
= total daily caloric need
If possible, having access to both body composition and a Resting Energy Expenditure test is very helpful for the nutrition professional trying to determine calorie need. A body composition provides information regarding the amount of metabolically active tissue. The amount of metabolically active tissue is used to calculate potential BMR, taking into account, height, age, weight and gender. A resting energy expenditure (REE) test is also very helpful. REE measures oxygen utilized and carbon dioxide exhaled which provides an indirect measure of calories burned. For a de-conditioned individual, REE may actually indicate that they are burning fewer calories than their potential according to their lean body mass (LBM). The fitter the individual, the more calories they burn.
On the other hand, it doesn’t have to be that complicated. We all eat; and we are gaining weight, losing or staying the same.
One of the best strategies for the untrained individual trying to assess their own calorie need is to first keep an accurate food journal. Then, enter the information into a good on-line food analysis program. If eating habits and weight has been stable for a while – then, this is a maintenance calorie level. If looking for weight loss, first try a modest caloric deficit of 300-500 calories per day. Many people try to cut calories too much; it causes lack of energy, feelings of deprivation and makes it harder to stick with a healthy plan for any length of time.
A word of warning: many sources advise that women attempting to lose weight go on a 1200 calorie plan, and men use a 1500 calorie plan. Our experience is that, except for small, sedentary people, those calories levels are too low. It is far better to focus on good quality nutrition choices, increased physical activity and forming positive long range health patterns than to attempt these too low calorie level diets.
Stress Buster for the Holidays
No matter where you are – at your desk, in a meeting, at home, you can do this exercise unobtrusively. Wiggle your toes, giving special attention to your big toes for one minutes. Then circle your feet by rotating them on your ankles. Next tighten your buttocks, count to five, and relax. Inhale deeply into your abdomen and then exhale.Add a comment
By Cindy Clemens, Life Coach
Time management is a misnomer. Everyone has the same 24 hours each day, and there is nothing you can do to create more time. But, you can get better at self-management. Learning how to say both "yes" and "no" with clarity and confidence is the critical step. By focusing on the top five items on your YES List, you will find it easier to pass on those time requests that conflict with your priorities. And remember - "NO" is a complete sentence."
Reduce Holiday Stress
By Cindy Clemens, Life Coach
Holiday times are historically one of the most stressful times of the year for most people. What is for many a joyous, happy and/or spiritually-based time often is comprised of frantic activities, shopping and gastronomic marathons and an increase in both stress and illness. The following tips can help reduce the stress and prevent accompanying low energy levels that lead to susceptibility to illness, the “blues,” fatigue, irritability and generally a negative holiday experience.
1. Manage Your Time — Don't Let It Manage You
Decide what your priorities are regarding holiday events such as parties, family functions, gift buying, cooking and all other related activities. Put them in order of priority and give yourself an “ample” time deadline for each thing. DO NOT wait until the last minute unless absolutely necessary or it will be hard for you to not feel pressure and stress.
2. Do Not Over-Commit
Learn how to say "no," with a smile and firm conviction. You only have so many days and hours to squeeze in family, friends, business get-togethers, gift buying, food preparation, gift wrapping, traveling, packing, etc. If you can spare some time to help others, fine. Make sure you have plenty of time to get your things done first however and that whatever you commit to is within your physical and emotional abilities. If you find at the time a party or other event comes up that you feel very tired or even ill, cancel or ask for help. Don't play “superman/woman.” Holidays are to be enjoyed. “Less is often more” and will also often be of higher quality.
3. Don't Take “Token” Time Off Work
Unless your profession requires you return to work the day after a major holiday, take an extra day or two if the holiday doesn't spill over into a weekend, to recoup your physical and emotional strength. "Happy" times are every bit as stressful as sad or unpleasant events. Don't be fooled by thinking that holiday events cannot be very draining. If you work for yourself and plan ahead to do it, take 2-3 days after a major holiday to catch up on sleep, clean up your house and travel home in a relaxed time frame.
4. If Possible, Don't Spend Holidays Alone
Holidays are not happy times for some people for various reasons. If you live alone and dread the holidays or a particular holiday, spending it alone will usually add to you feeling depressed and very isolated. Whatever uncomfortable feelings you associate with a holiday will be exacerbated by spending it alone. If you have friends or relatives, see if you can join them for a part of it. If not, volunteer your time to work at a food center where the holiday dinner is served and prepared. Whatever you can do to get the focus out of yourself and the “past,” the better off you will be. While it is fine and healthy to remember events or lost loved ones on holidays, it need not be either a negative or the entire focus of the holiday for you.
5. Avoid or Be Very Moderate with Artificial “Stress Reducers”
Most holidays include the sharing or offering of alcoholic beverages. Since for many people alcohol is one way to combat stress and even despondency, it is wise to limit your intake if you wish to limit your stress. Alcohol actually is only a “temporary” stress reducer. In large amounts, or in combination with a lot of chocolate and caffeine-laced food and drinks, it can actually cause your adrenal glands to secrete more adrenaline and other “stress hormones,” causing you to feel worse than if you had nothing to drink at all. Since alcohol is also a “depressant,” it will increase the feeling of being "low" as well. Drink with food and pace yourself. The best stress reducers are laughter, listening to and/or singing music, helping others, being loved and sharing love and, for many, communion with their church or faith through private or public ceremonies and events.
6. Accept Your Limitations
This is tough to do, since we often want to do all kinds of things on a holiday and don't realize how much time and energy it will take from us in the end. Think about what you really have to do and really want to do. Then think about what you realistically have adequate time and energy to do. Follow those guidelines and you will perhaps do less and not see as many people, write as many holiday cards, or cook as many cookies or pies, but you will be much less stressed and enjoy the holidays considerably more. Simple concept. Put it on paper and stick to it.
7. Help Others/Volunteer
This is especially good for the person who lives alone or is all alone as far as family and friends. New in town? Volunteer to work at a local church or shelter to help feed the homeless and the poor. Create your own sense of "community" by being with people who are also alone and, in most instances, far worse off than you physically and financially and perhaps emotionally as well. The more you give, the more you will get back in blessings and good feelings yourself. It may not happen the same day or all at once, but it will happen. When you see that the best gift you can give is yourself, your spirit and spirits will rise and be reinforced with a warmth and strength which is better and longer lasting than any gift or holiday party.
8. Prepare For Events In Stages
If you are going to be cooking for a large group on one or more occasions, shop ahead and prepare what you can ahead of time, whether it is the day before or the night before. Many types of casseroles, baked goods and snacks can be made 1-2 days in advance and kept fresh in a freezer or refrigerator in sealed containers or their own cooking dish. If you have 100 cards to be addressed and mailed, block off 15-30 minutes every day to work on them starting 2-3 weeks before they need to be mailed. If they are custom cards, order them so you get them in good time to address them without rushing. Shop all year around for gifts. When you see a sale, look for possible gift ideas and put them away until the holiday comes. This alone can save much time (and money). And you avoid the holiday crowds in the stores and malls. Cutting up your work in blocks of time instead of doing it all at once (with some exceptions gifts-wise and food-wise) can cut your stress level by a large amount.
9. Be Yourself: Drop Expectations Of Yourself And Others
Every holiday is different and each year the experience you have on the same holiday will vary. Placing expectations on yourself to cook the perfect meals, go to all the parties, pick the right gifts (in the right sizes and colors) and to be entertained and to entertain everyone you are with, is a setup for stress and disappointment. Plan what you want to do, do things in your own way and accept the outcomes. You always do your best at the time. Your motives are good and loving. Accept that you will never be all things to all people and realize that is the nature of every human. To try and be the perfect hostess or host, buy the perfect gift and plan the flawless get-together is not realistic. Be thankful and grateful to be able to do what you can do with the people you care about and love and let it go at that. Stress and post-holiday blues set in when we are overly stuck on how people will respond to our food, our gifts or even our presence. Keep in mind why the holiday originally was created or named as a “holiday” (holy day?). Have fun in your own way, respect others to do the same, take it a minute or an hour at a time and both your happiness level and your holiday experience will be enhanced and will not feel like a chore or an annual struggle or obligation.Add a comment
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