Wednesday, July 22, 2009


Goals serve to keep us motivated, energized and focus on an outcome. But before you go out setting goals, there are a few things to make sure of.
  • Goals should be specific
  • Ultimate goals should be broken down into incremental, short term goals (one-two months).
  • Goals should be time-based.
  • A formal method of tracking progress is required.
  • A formal plan of action is needed to facilitate goals.
  • Goal should be prioritized.

This of course comes from my LWMC text. And as always, I apply my new found knowledge (not that this was anything new I learned) to my life right now. So here are my detailed out goals for the rest of the year.

1. 117 by September 15. That's my birthday. And though I would love to actually be lower than that, I'm not pushing it. I was down as low as 117.2 earlier this year and I just want to get back there.

2. 110 by October 31. Wow! That's going to be harder than it seems. 7 weeks in between those two goals.

3. Body fat at 20% of less by December 25. I picked Christmas because I want that for my Christmas present.

Now how will I get there? Clean eating 90% of the time, and that's every day. No off day! Starting INSANITY on August 1 and doing that for 60 days. That should help me drop some crucial pounds and get the body tight. I will be starting P90X right after that and that should get the body fat dropped.

I can do this!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

LWMC here I come!

This was cool.

So I'm studying my LWMC material. Still in Chapter 15 after many weeks. It's a killer chapter. I'm finally finishing Chapter 15 in the workbook. At the end of each section there are some "Show what you know" problems for us to do. Basically like case studies of clients we will be working with. The last one states this:

"Joe has been your client for several weeks and seems to be successfully changing his eating habits with the exception of late-night snacking. What would you suggest to help Joe solve this problem"

SO I'm thinking, hmm, the self-monitoring and problem-solving I did for myself a few blogs ago would be perfect. Gee! I'm smarter than I know. Here's what the book answered.

"Determine what is causing the behavior by asking him is he is hungry, bored, or stressed while he is snacking. If he is hungry, suggest that he eats more calories during the day [Which is one of the hypotheses that I came up with for myself!] If he is bored, suggest that he get out of the house for a walk, stay busy, or stay away from snacks by doing something productive. If he is stressed, suggest that he incorporate relaxation techniques into his daily routine to reduce the likelihood of eating to alleviate stress. If Joe doesn't know why he is snacking, suggest that he keep a log to note the factors that seem to precede and follow the late-night snacking during the week, along with his thoughts and feelings while he is snacking. Once he understands the factors that contribute to the behavior, he can take steps to change them."

I loved their answer as well as mine. So people, I am getting my head in the right place with this LWMC. I may pass the test after all!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

False-Hope Syndrome

False-Hope Syndrome is when people tend to set unrealistic goals. Setting ambitious goals make people feel good. Their self-image improves, and they feel optimistic and in control. They set goals like, "I will lose 20v pounds before summer." But what happens as times goes by and goals have not been met?

Most people give up then, They think their goal is unreachable, they feel disappointed and bad about themselves. This leads to the planning fallacy, were people consistently underestimate the time, energy and other resources required to complete a given task.

It is my belief that goals can be met...if set properly. To lose 20 pound in one month is close to impossible. But stating smaller increments like five pounds in a month is more realistic. Or they want to totally eat 100% clean after just learning the concept, coming from a highly processed diet.

My advice would be to make gradual changes. Eliminate some, but maybe not all of the processed foods at first. Take out the worse culprits first, like 100-calories packs, potato chips, white rice and pasta, and bread products containing HFCS. Switch it with brown rice, whole wheat pasta and Ezekiel bread. You may not even know the difference. And make your own 100-calorie packs with fresh fruit, veggies and hummus for dip, raisins and raw nuts, nonfat plain yogurt.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Principle of Limited Self-Control

Clients often say, "If only I had more willpower..." It takes effort to change your lifestyle into a healthy one. Eating the proper foods, exercising daily and changing old habits. This all becomes something that the client has to self-regulate or self-control. Here's what researchers think of this theory.

Psychologists believe that for each person, self-control is a limited source. Some people have more self-control than others, but NO ONE has limitedless self-control. Sure, some people can avoid having pizza when it's staring them right in the face, but given the wright (or maybe it's the wrong) situation, giving in to an indulgence almost seems natural. As a LWMC, it is my job to minimize the amount of self-control a client has. By detailing out their workouts and adjusting their eating habits, they have a plan that hopefully will fit them and make it easy to follow.

Secondly, habits are comfortable and require little self-control. The more quickly lifestyle modifications can become habits, the happier and more successful a client will be. People are creature of habit and we tend to settle into daily routines. Most people can only tolerate a relatively small disruption of their daily routines. It's my job to break those "bad" habits and help my clients incorporate "healthy" habits. To do this I must allow for small changes to their behavior and allow time for each of those to become habit.

Third, coping with stress requires self-control. Face it, we all have some kind of stress in our lives. Be it our jobs, family, taking care of the house, fitting in exercise, our own health, name it! It's more difficult to change to healthy habits when we are stressed out and worrying. During the holidays is NOT a good time to start a new healthy lifestyle. We will become too busy stressing about what we can and cannot eat instead of taking the time to make healthy changes gradually.

Last, self-control seems to be renewed every day. Well, that's good news! It is highest in the mornings, and then gradually diminishes as the day goes on. his explains why people who exercise in the morning tend to be most successful in sticking to their exercise programs. It also explains why "dieters" are good during the early part of the day and often give in to temptation at night.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Self-monitoring and Problem-solving

These are the heart of lifestyle modification. As a Lifestyle Coach, there's only so much I can do. I cannot be there with a client 24-7 and grab the cookies from them they are munching on at midnight. I can't make them give it their all in a workout if they only want to just get it done. Whatever the problem is that is hindering them, they must solve this themselves. I can merely help her work through the problem.

If the problem is late-night snacking (uh, which is my issue), then I have to ask why? Okay, I'll ask myself, LOL! Why do I feel a need to eat late at night? Am I hungry. Um, no...well, sometimes. The solution here could be I am not eating enough calories in the daytime (which is very true on some days) so I need to rectify that.

Sometimes I'm not hungry and still grab a veggie burger, make a grilled cheese, or my fave, popcorn. I LOVE the taste of food and those cravings pop up. 9 times out of 10 it's for something salty. I have found that the more I limit salt, the MORE I want it. So therefore, I try to have salt without going over my limit on most days.

Sometimes it's neither of those, I'm just bored, tired, frustrated, whatever. All these emotions lead me to grab whatever junk in sight. This is when it doesn't have to be salty. Just whatever consist of "junk food." Solution: keep the junk out of the house! If all I have to much on are grapes, carrots, tofu, broccoli, beans, oatmeal and some raw nuts...chances are I don't want any of them because they are not junk food (though I've been known to eat a handful of nuts when I can't fight it).

This is problem-solving! Defining the problem: late night snacking. Brainstorming possible solutions: keep the junk out of the house, eat more sodium, and increase calories throughout the day. Ding, ding, ding! I can find out which one works and implement these behavioral changes, which becomes habits, and then result in a new, healthier lifestyle.

It's that easy? Yes, it's that easy!