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16 Reasons You Are Not Losing Weight

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If you were to Google “ why am I not losing weight?” you go to a whole collection of websites that would potentially send you to another site and then to a place where they try to sell you a supplement or the “wonder-cure” for weight loss.  Sorry, for that.  You may have googled that question and it brought you here. Cool!  So, let’s get straight to the point.

You are not losing weight for some really basic reasons.  The causes may be different but the reasons are usually only a couple of options.  And the answer is not what you want to hear.

 The real answer is CALORIES IN MUST BE LESS THAN CALORIES OUT!

Yup, it’s just that ugly.  I have been told that so many times, it doesn’t help but that is the truth.  I too have plateaued many times in my weight loss journey.  I too have wanted to throw in the towel and ‘belly up to the trough.'  But, even when I stray, I get back at it because, in the long run, I still don’t want to weigh as much as I do.  

Here are some hidden reasons that you may be stalled.  It may be one, or it may be more than one.  Try to deal with whichever ones are talking to you.  You will know it deep down which ones are yours look at.

1. You're Too Focused on “Dieting” 

  • This is a mindset thing, lifestyle vs diet.

2. Your Expectations Are Unrealistic

  • Losing 1-2 lbs a week is realistic.  More than that, it becomes harder to keep it off once you reach your goal.

3.  You've Been Starving Yourself For Too Long

  • Your metabolism needs to catch up with a healthy eating pattern instead of starvation mode.

4.  You're Not Eating Mindfully

  • Focus on what you are eating instead of eating in front of the TV, at your desk, or on the run.  Take the time to pay attention to how you feel as you eat, try to notice when you actually feel satisfied instead of stuffed.

5.  You're Drinking Too Much Alcohol

  • These truly are hidden calories that need to be monitored.

6.  You're Not Drinking Water

  • Drink your water.  This one is key.  Most people just don’t drink enough.  

7.  You're Eating Too Often

  • It’s ok to get a little hungry between meals.  Not starving, just a little hungry.  If you are always eating how is your body going to use up the fat it is storing.

8.  You're Not Cutting Back on Carbohydrates

  • Keep your carbs complex, natural ones rather than processed.

9.  You're Not Sleeping Well

  • Do all you can to get enough sleep, your body heals while you sleep.

10.  You're Still Drinking Sugar

  • Coffee with sugars, syrups, juice, all are hidden sugars that add up.  Look at the sugars in your drinks, it’s surprising.

11.  You're Not Doing Cardio

  • Even if you hate it, cardio burns more calories than sitting.  Just get that heart rate up.

 12.  You're Binge Eating (Even on Healthy Food)

  • Reward meals are just meals, not whole days.  Watch your portions on non-reward meals, even healthy foods will be too many calories if you eat too much.

13.  You're Not Lifting Weights

  • Use your large muscle groups by lifting weights or using resistance bands or even your own body weight.  It keeps your metabolism up longer than just cardio.

 14.  You're Eating Too Many Calories

  • Ugly as it is, count your calories, and watch your portions.  Use an app if it helps, my fitness pal is easy and free.  Track your calories in and out.

15. You're Not Eating Enough Protein

  • This is really common but easy to fix.  There are so many sources both animal and not, there is no reason not to get enough.

16.  Maybe You Are Losing Without Realizing it

  • People plateau as their muscles build.  Muscles weigh more than fat.  They take up less space and work harder.  Women won’t bulk up, we simply don’t have the testosterone to do that.  You will start to lose again, just stick to it.

 

After all of that, keep in mind that we are all different and we actually lose weight at different paces.  Make sure you check with your doctor if you are doing everything right, just to make sure there isn’t a medical reason.  And be aware that hormones are amazing little things that play havoc with our bodies, too.

 

You better cut the pizza in four pieces because I'm not hungry enough to eat six.- Yogi Berra

Not Just Another Before and After

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I have been asked several times lately “where are my before and after photos?”  I have to be honest, honest with myself first and then to whoever is asking.  The truth is that I have not taken any.  That’s pretty easy.  If there aren’t any, there simply aren’t any.  But, why have I never done that?

I talk a lot about making goals, making sure you look to where you are going.  Part of knowing where you are going is making sure you know where you start.  I recently learned that when we started going to the trainers that we have now, they honestly didn’t think that we were going to either stick to it or be able to even do it.  Woah!

After going to our trainers, Body By Brandt for 5.5 years, we were all wrong about that.  But, because for us it was the rest of our lives and for them, they didn’t see it lasting, we didn’t take gym measures or pictures.  There are, however, a whole lot of fat pictures of me.  I was heavy for a long time.  Some of the pics taken at some events were even horrible when I look back.

But, since we have been on our current health journey, I feel so aware of the fact that I still have goals that I have not yet met.  I get down on myself and then the fat girl surfaces and I don’t want to get a picture taken looking ‘my current state’.  

We set goals for ourselves but we need to remember that although we don’t like where we are now and are truly ready to change, the person who you are, will always be inside you and that is truly where the real work begins.

I know for a fact that I have made huge strides toward my goal weight and size.  I am also hugely aware of a laundry list of things that have done or are currently working against me accomplishing that goal.  I know that regardless of my dress size, my body thanks me every day that I am not that size 16 person anymore.  I look to the health challenges in my family and I know that every day away from that fat girl is another healthy day farther away from the possibility of those health challenges.  

I also know that some people only want to see before and after pictures to judge you and others with.  Some just use those pictures to gossip with and then there are those people that will always find something to be critical about.  Now, I know, I should not care what other people say, it’s not their opinion that matters, but I am still human and insults still hurt.  

I also know that a lot of people doctor their pics just to make them look more dramatic than they are.  Lighting, makeup, camera angles, certain clothes, even facial expressions and tightening vs letting it all hang out.

The other thing that I have learned is that the photos that we see online are almost all fake.  Our trainers train people in bodybuilding competitions.  As the competitions draw near, photo shoots are set up.  That all makes perfect sense.  These people have worked very hard for week, months, sometimes years to look their perfect self on stage.  I don’t plan to ever do that, but if I did, I would also want pictures taken to capture all my hard work.  But, even after all of the very specific workouts and diets, in the last couple of weeks, they do some very dramatic things.  They change their water consumption to the point of having none the day of the pictures.  Competition aside, the pictures become just as important.  So when we see those girls in amazing shape and those guys with washboard abs, most of those people don’t look like that in a few months.  Life takes over and even the most hardworking athletes, generally, put weight back on because magazine ready is not sustainable, for the most part.  Don’t forget that most are photoshopped on top of all that.

So, moving forward,  I learn on a daily basis and will continue to learn to love the person that I am.  I will continue to learn to love the process.  If you hate the process, the journey is awful.  

  • I actually still hate waking up so early, but after my coffee and my chance to wake up, as well as a little pre workout,
  • I love starting the day with a great workout.  
  • I love eating healthy and my reward meals are so worth waiting for.  
  • I love fitting into clothes that I have been bought at a regular size shop and not a plus size shop.  
  • I love the muscles that I feel even though nobody else can see them yet.  
  • I am taking my own advice, I am smiling more and will take more pics of myself and be proud of them.

 

Love who you are, embrace who you are. Love yourself. When you love yourself, people can kind of pick up on that: they can see confidence, they can see self-esteem, and naturally, people gravitate towards you. – Lilly Singh

 

Great Health Benefits to Eating Watermelon

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Great Health Benefits to Eating Watermelon

There are some things about summer that are a given.  Bbq’s, sunburns, camping, baseball, fireworks, bug bites, no school, and then there is the food.  There are just some things that taste better in the summer.  The reasons are varied.  Everyone knows that eating outside makes things taste way better.  Eating food off of paper plates is just better.  When it’s too hot to cook, food becomes amazing even if it is raisin toast with a side of fruit salad, a childhood favorite of mine.  But the best reason, for me, is that because I live in a part of the world that sees real winter, the produce in the summer is fresh and LOCAL.  

Admittedly because we are in 2017 we can get just about any kind of food we want all year long now.  With the shipping so quick now, and with so many people moving to other parts of the world but still wanting to eat food from home, there is no excuse to go without any one kind of food.  There are limits, however.  Sometimes the price for that out of season fruit is huge.  Some produce is only imported through specialty stores, but it is still available if you want it.

There are just some things that taste better when they are grown locally, like tomatoes, strawberries, corn, and my personal favorite, watermelon.  I have loved it since I was a little kid.  Good thing for my ego, I couldn’t find a really old pic of me with an enormous piece of watermelon, drips from it all over me, and a very toothless smile.  If you liked it as a kid like I did, I am sure your mom has one just like it.

Now as a grown up, I look into what makes some foods so yummy but also I try to find ways to justify eating them. After all, we all know that if as a kid we knew that things were good for us we would never have eaten them.  But now that I am a label reader, I want to know just what I am eating.

Here are some really fantastic reasons to eat watermelon.

  • One cup of diced watermelon (152 grams) contains:  43 calories, 0 grams of fat, 2 milligrams of sodium, 1 grams of carbohydrate (including 9 grams of sugar), 1 gram of fiber, 17 percent of vitamin A, 21 percent of vitamin C, 2 percent of iron, 1 percent of calcium.
  • Watermelon also contains; thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B-6, folate, pantothenic acid, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, copper, manganese, selenium, choline, lycopene, arginine, and betaine.

It really wasn’t that hard to find some really compelling reasons to eat watermelon. Looking at the nutrition from the above list just confirmed the health benefits that I suspected.

  • Vitamin C may aid in asthma prevention as well as have benefits in eye health such as macular degeneration.
  • Lycopene may help protect against heart disease and has been linked to decreased risk of prostate cancer, according to several studies.
  • Watermelon, because of its water and fiber content, helps to prevent constipation and promote regularity for a healthy digestive tract.
  • It is actually made up of 92 % water which is full of natural electrolytes.
  • Choline, aids our bodies in sleep, muscle movement, learning, and memory. It also helps to maintain the structure of cellular membranes, aids in the transmission of nerve impulses, assists in the absorption of fat and reduces chronic inflammation.
  • Potassium and magnesium are also key in regulating high blood pressure.
  • Arginine is beneficial in dealing with erectile dysfunction, as well as being a key amino acid.

So, as I suspected, it doesn’t matter how you eat it.  Just eat it.  It also validates the knowledge that fresh is best and the foods with the least amount of processing are the ones with the most health benefits.

 

I love fresh fruit and vegetables. I'm not a strict dieter. I don't think that anything in life should be so regimented that you're not having fun or can't enjoy like everybody else. Just know that fresh food is always going to be better for you. – Carrie Ann Inaba

Take Care of Your Body, It’s the Only One You Will Get – 10 Ways to Care For It

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Do you ever watch an antique car go past you on the road?  You seem to notice it at a distance because usually it is all shined up.  You pay attention as it gets closer and you notice details on it that you don’t notice on modern cars around you.  Most of us will, even if you are not a car person, admire the work that has obviously been put into restoring that car to its former glory.

Do you ever notice people gardens when they are in full bloom?  The bushes trimmed just so, the gardens are manicured.  The grass is just the perfect shade of green.  Just the right balance of trees, shrubs, and flowers.  Even if you are not a gardener, you can see the work that has been put into this yard.

Do you ever notice someone who is in great shape?  You see muscles in all sorts of places.  You watch them as they ride their bike past you or they run past you.  You don’t see anything jiggling and they don’t seem out of breath.  Do you admire them, or are you critical of those athletic people?

It's funny how can admire work on some things but if its work on ourselves, we tend to get critical.  Well, I am here to tell you that we need to start spending time taking care of ourselves, our own bodies and minds, the way we would our cars, gardens, kids, crafts, or projects.  

We need to realize that we only get one body to use so let’s start taking care of it.  

 

  1. First, put healthy fuel into it.  You wouldn’t put the cheapest gas into a Ferrari, but we don’t think twice about junk food into our engine.  Start fueling your body with food that makes it run more efficiently.
  2. Next, work your muscles.  Get off of the couch, step away from the computer, put down the phone, and get physical.  Walk, run, swim, play tennis, frisbee golf, something anything.  Just work up a sweat and move your body.
  3. Treat your body with care and recovery.  If you are working hard, then relax with the same effort.  Learn to nap, take vacations, rest your mind and body, chillax.
  4. Pamper your body.  Go for a massage, either therapeutic or the gentle kind.  This is how your body relaxes and starts to heal.
  5. Do something that makes you feel special.  Go for a manicure, and/or a pedicure.  Get your hair done, with a shampoo and massage.  Guys can now go for an old fashioned shave with hot clothes.
  6. Have the occasional mental health day.  Your mind needs the same chance to rest as the muscles.  When we get too stressed, we need to make sure we let the mind calm down too.
  7. Spend time learning how to make your body run more efficiently.  That may mean finding a chiropractor.  It may mean a physiotherapist.  It may mean a counselor.
  8. Treat your relationships with care.  If you are cranky to the people in your world, you will start to lose your support system.  When you support system fails and you have a need for them, they may not be there for you.
  9. Learn to laugh.  The best medicine to relax with is a really good belly laugh that makes your sides hurt.  We are too serious most of the time.  
  10. Find some time to read.  It really doesn’t matter if you are reading to improve yourself or just to escape, reading expands the mind either way.  

We only get one chance at life, so you might as well make your body work to the best of its abilities. It will run longer if you take care of it, and it won't break down as often and when it does, it will heal itself quicker.

 

Love yourself. It is important to stay positive because beauty comes from the inside out. – Jenn Proske