What happens when the pursuits of “skinny” and “strong” collide?

I loved this post so much I had to reblog it. I know I only have a few followers as my blog is new, but if you are truly interested in losing weight and/ or being fit…aka being healthy, then I think you will appreciate it also.

Fit and Feminist

By now I’m sure most of you are familiar with the saying “Strong is the new skinny.”  It shows up fairly regularly on fitspo images and in fitness circles as a way of promoting a new standard of female beauty, one that is focused on strength and physical power instead of weight loss and restriction.  The words are often accompanied by photos of women showing off glistening muscles while they pose with weights or perform feats of bodyweight strength.  If you have spent any time at all in the fit-o-sphere, you’ve seen what I’m talking about.

Now, I support the general idea behind the phrase.  I would prefer that women – and men, really – work to cultivate their bodies’ abilities rather than fight against them in an attempt to meet our culture’s incredibly fickle beauty standards.  But I also have some issues with the execution, which, as I…

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Emotional Eating

This week has been a doozy.  I mean totally off the charts for feeling like an emotional mess.  The last time I felt like this was during and after my divorce.  It was a few years after my divorce that I realized that I had been out of control in the food department, and the reason for it was because I was using food to calm myself when I was anxious or upset, to feel better when I was sad, and to occupy myself when I was lonely or bored.  I weighed over 50 pounds more than my current weight and I was miserable.  I didn’t feel good to begin with and I felt even worse when I looked in the mirror.  I knew I had to take control over this aspect of my life.  It probably was the only thing that I could take control of!

I began by increasing my activity, keeping track of the food I ate with the Weight Watchers plan, and taking a weight loss supplement to jump-start my progress.  It did not take long to lose the first 25 pounds.  Believe it or not, it was fairly easy!  The best part was that as I was losing more and more weight, I was increasing my physical activity to the point where I joined a gym and hired a personal trainer.  Without realizing it, I had replaced the food I was consuming to combat my emotions with exercise. I started feeling really good about myself, and I am sure the workouts released all those good endorphins!

The thing is emotional eating can really be a problem.  Most everyone knows what they could and should do to lose weight, but to actually be able to do it is another thing, and I think a lot of that can be blamed on our emotions.  Once we tackle that, we can be successful at making a change in our lifestyle to become a healthier and more physically fit person.

So, how do you  know if emotional eating is something that you struggle with?  Well, some of the clues are:
1.  The feeling that you need to eat comes on very suddenly….you have to have those cookies, chips, ice cream (insert any fatty, salty, or sweet food).

2. You continue to eat even after you feel full to the point where you are uncomfortable.

3. Eating is helping you to keep your mind off whatever it is that you are feeling such as anxiety, boredom, sadness, etc.

4. You are eating to reward yourself.

If you see yourself as being an emotional eater there are some things that you can do.  First, take a pause.  When you feel that craving come on, take a moment and think about why you are wanting whatever it is.  Think about how you feel and identify what emotion you are feeling and whether you are really hungry.  If not, try to wait 5 or 10 minutes before you will allow yourself whatever it is you are wanting.  By waiting, you may be able to combat the craving, or at least get it under control.  Once you have identified a pattern of what feelings trigger your emotional eating you will be more able to fight it.

Find an alternative activity rather than eating to help you feel better.  Like I said, I had replaced eating with going to the gym and doing a step aerobics class or doing some weight training. I felt so good about myself for the progress I had made, not just with my weight, but with my level of fitness, that I did not want to eat a bunch of junk food.  I do feel it is a scary thing for an inactive person to think about completing a vigorous workout.  You have to start small.  Take a walk, and add time each week to your walk until you ready to take the next step.  Maybe a few increments of jogging, or a workout DVD, or maybe even joining a gym.   Being physically active will most definitely help you manage emotional eating.

If you are wanting to eat because you are bored, try reading a book, calling a friend, and if you are spiritual… spend some time in prayer, or find some other activity to occupy your mind.  A busy mind and body does not eat just to eat.

Finally, remember that your body is your temple.  You want to take care of it so it will last you and you can do all the things that you might enjoy with nothing holding you back.  There is nothing worse that feeling like you cannot do something.  Do not let fear….fear of anything including failure, hold you back!  As always, start small.  Every new tool you add to your new healthy living lifestyle will get you one step closer to where you want to be.  Remember, you may not be where you want to be but at least you are not where you were!!!  That is always my mantra and I keep trying and pushing myself to new limits.

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Becky Pandolfo is a working Mom who has a wealth of experience with many diet and fitness programs.  Her insight and information has helped countless individuals attain their weight loss and fitness goals.  For more information on her and the products she recommends visit: http://www.GoSlimFL.com

Keeping it real:)

So, I was recently reminded that weight loss and healthy living is not just about looking good…it is about being healthy, preventing disease, and feeling good.   I cannot agree with this more.  Looking good is really just the icing on the cake because obviously, if we had to choose between looking good and being healthy we would all choose good health! 

Lucky for us, these two things are not opposed.  We can have our cake and eat it too…or wait, we can have our fruits and veggies, and eat them too:) 

I felt like it was time for a progress update…since I started my blog on 5/1/2013 I have lost about 3 pounds.  I have been down as much as 4, but I keep bouncing back and forth.   I am trying not to be too focused on the scale, and instead focus on how I feel, how my clothes fit, and I did take some new measurements.   I am definitely feeling less bloated and I feel thinner which I attribute to the increase in healthy foods and increased water intake which always keeps things in balance:) 

As for workouts, I want to do better.  I fit in a work out  4 days last week for about an hour each time.  In order to reach my goal, I think I will need to get at least 5 days in, and 6 days would be better.  Also, I am increasing weight training and not spending all my time doing cardio.  I am not very experienced with weight training and the best weight workouts I have done were in a group class called Body Combat, but since that is not available to me anymore, I am trying to put together my own program and may employ the help of a local trainer.  I am also using the websites Livestrong and Hasfit for workout advice.   Through this blog, I have also discovered other blogs that have great information that with their permission I would love to share! 

I am continuing to use Knockout which is available on my website at www.GoSlimFL .com and it is helping with food cravings and appetite as well.

I hope you are joining me on this weight loss and healthy living journey!  Keep a notebook with your personal stats as it will help to keep you motivated and on track.  Remember, even making a small change is better than making no change at all!!    We will get there with perseverance and determination. 

What is Garcinia Cambogia and will it help me lose weight?

OK, so I wanted to do some research on this popular product called Garcinia Cambogia before I started taking a product that contained it myself.  Here is what I found out.

Garcinia Cambogia is a fruit from India.  It might remind you of a very small pumpkin, but they are berries that are red or yellow in color.  It is the extract from the fruit that is referred to as hydroxycitric acid, or HCA, and it is reported to be an effective appetite suppressant and fat burner.

The rind of the berry has been used for centuries.  It was prescribed for fluid retention, stomach and digestive disorders, arthritis, parasites, and as a preservative for fish.  When it was used in receipes it was reported to decrease a person’s appetite which is how it gained all this attention!

The benefits of Garcina Cambogia have been studied by the University of Illinois Medical Center in their study of lipogenesis, or how fat and cholesterol are produced and stored.  The HCA from Garcinia Cambogia is said to block the storage of fat and cholesterol, especially when fat is consumed in higher than ideal levels.  The article states Garcinia Cabogia is a promising addition to a heatlhy eating and fitness program based on animal studies.

So, this is promising news to me!! After doing this research, I decided it was worth a try! I feel that that it has helped me! I feel a definite decrease in appetite.  Knockout includes Garcinia Cambogia along with Rasberry Ketone, African Mango, and Green Coffee Bean Extract.   You can get more information about this product at  www.GoSlimFL.com   I will follow up with a summary of each of the other three ingredients in this weight loss product so that you too can decide if adding it to your weight loss plan is right for you. 

As always, keep moving forward with your personal weight loss goals!  Keep your eye on the prize and if you mess up, just pick yourself up and get back on track.  Remember, this is a lifestyle change and not a diet.  You don’t have to deny yourself all the things you love, you just have to find a new way to work them into your new healthy lifestyle.  Remember also to check with your healthcare provider before starting any new supplement although there have been no adverse side effects reported. 

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The Weekend

I was reading some posts from other bloggers about how they are tired of the “shame” people either feel or think they should feel for eating things like sweets.  The feeling from the post and most of those that commented was that we should not be obsessed with how we look or what we weigh or what we eat and be able to enjoy cookies or candy if we so chose.  I think that is awesome!  I love the idea!  Unfortunately, I can’t share it.  I envy those that do.  Really!

I don’t know what the problem is or why I cannot adopt that philosophy, but I do know that if I did I would most definitely gain a LOT of weight.  I could blame it on my parents for not teaching me self-control when it comes to eating, or I could blame my ex-husband for never making me feel like I was attractive, but instead I am going to blame myself for having the bad luck to be born with “bad body chemistry” because I cannot eat cookies and candy without remorse and maintain a healthy comfortable weight.  It is the guilt that keeps me in check.  Sure, I eat cookies and ice cream and whatever I want, but the guilt is what keeps it in moderation so that I do not go crazy and indulge every day, day after day.  As it is, I still need to cut back in order to lose the additional weight I so desire.

That leads me to the weekend.  It was not horrible, but I did have popcorn at movies…twice!  We went out to dinner and split and appetizer of sweet potato fries, and a couple margaritas, along with shrimp tacos for a meal.  That was a splurge!  On the positive side, I did step aerobics on Saturday, ran 3 miles on Sunday, and ate very healthy the rest of the time.  So, all in all….it was a decent balance.  Still, I need to tip more to the deficit side to get where I want to be. So, with that in mind, I will continue on my journey trying to make better choices more than not.

If you want to join me…the challenge is to lose 10 lbs.   My goals for this week to help achieve that goal is to be sure I drink a lot of water which will help to keep me full, I will take Knockout supplements to also help control cravings, and I will get at least 30 – 60 minutes of exercise each and every day.  What will you do this week?  Will you take the challenge to lose 10 lbs with me?  We only have one body and one life and I want to live mine feeling good about myself and feeling fit!  The feeling of being fit and able tackle any challenge is better than any cookie or ice cream!!

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Becky Pandolfo is a working Mom who has a wealth of experience with many diet and fitness programs.  Her insight and information has helped countless individuals attain their weight loss and fitness goals.  For more information on her and the products she recommends visit: http://www.GoSlimFL.com

The beginning…

Like many of you, I have always struggled with my weight. All my life I wanted to be like the thin girls, and it has taken me a long time to realize that I will never be. I am curvy. That’s it. I said it. I still don’t like it, but I feel better than ever. It is the way I was made, so I have decided that I need to do the best with what I have.

I was not very heavy when I was married, but after the wedding I started to gain weight. We were always eating out, and my husband was able to eat all day and not gain any weight. Before I knew it, I was a big girl. Probably weighing in at about 180 lbs. I knew that I did not feel good, so I took action and joined Weight Watchers. I lost most of the weight I had gained and was working out quite a lot when I became pregnant with my first child. At the time she was born, I weighed a whopping 224 lbs! I stayed heavy for quite a while after she was born until I decided once again, to go back to Weight Watchers and get back to feeling good. I lost a good portion of the weight, and was feeling pretty good weighing in at about 160 lbs when I decided it was time to have our second child. I did not gain nearly as much weight with this go around, and I lost it again fairly quickly afterwards. Towards the last few years of my 15 year marriage; however, the weight started creeping back on. I did not feel good about myself. I was divorced and felt very unattractive. It took me a couple of years to get on my feet again and feel in control enough to get back to a healthy weight, and this time I did more than go to Weight Watchers. I joined the gym. It has made a huge difference in my life! For the first time ever, I felt healthy and fit even if I did not look much different from when I had lost weight before.

So, I decided to write about my experiences…past, present, and future…in the hopes that my struggles, accomplishments and motivations will help someone else who is feeling bad about the way they look to feel better. You see, it is really not how you look on the outside, but what is going on inside that makes you feel good about yourself. Once you start being active and getting physical you will start feeling good on the inside and looking great on the outside. As I am writing this today, my weight is still not where I would like it to be. I will share with you what motivates me, healthy eating tips, recipes or articles, fitness tips and info, and also information on healthy supplements that I recommend. I hope you will keep reading and together we can feel great and BE SLIM!

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Becky Pandolfo is a working Mom who has a wealth of experience with many diet and fitness programs.  Her insight and information has helped countless individuals attain their weight loss and fitness goals.  For more information on her and the products she recommends visit: http://www.GoSlimFL.com