Do you choose to…

Do you choose to simply know the path, or do you choose to walk it?

I do not know who said this, but it certainly relates to the topic of this blog.  I read and review nutritional information, fitness information, and motivational/psychological information everyday in effort to be as knowledgeable as I can about what works and what doesn’t in the quest for healthy living and weight loss.  The thing is….I can know everything and feed it to anyone interested, but the question is what do YOU want to do with it?  I want to WALK IT!!

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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.  She plants her flag on a small corner of the web called  Go Slim  where newsletters flow and other insightful articles whisper on the digital winds.

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Looking Good Is Feeling Good

I am the mother of two kids, and for 15 years of marriage, I rarely spent any money on myself.  Instead, I bought clothes and toys for the kids and new items for the house.  Buying things for myself seemed selfish.  Little did I realize that this selfless act was actually hurting me because not only was I neglecting how I looked fashion-wise, I was letting myself go physically.  So, you have to be a little bit selfish and a little bit vain, if you want to stay on top of the way you look and ultimately the way you feel.

Rewarding myself throughout my weight loss journey, and even now as I maintain my weight, I feel is one of the things that helps me stay on course. How many times do you reward yourself with food?  Probably a lot.  Most people who are overweight grew up with food being used as a reward. Food can sometimes be used to fill emotional voids such as to soothe anxiety, cure loneliness or boredom, or make you feel better when you are sad.  To get away from bad habits like these, it is good to keep your focus on other things.  Not that you want to become super vain, but attention paid on how you look will help keep your mind set on the goal.

If you have not lost a lot of weight yet, maybe you are not ready to buy new clothes.  If that is the case, why not try going for a new hairstyle.  Also, a new pair of shoes or some new accessories, like jewelry, can be your best friend.  You will be surprised on how splurging on these things will make you feel pretty. When you feel pretty, or handsome or cool (or manly for the guys), you will be less likely to chow down that candy bar.  Feeling like you look good changes your whole outlook for the day just as the opposite is true.

Sometimes I think we need to be selfish in order to be the best we can be for others. Let me give an example. I feel it is a little selfish to spend time at the gym rather than time with the kids. In the long run though, it makes me a better Mom. I am more healthy and fit so I will live longer and be able to keep up with my kids now and with their kids later!  I also have less stress when I workout regularly.  Now that the kids are older I also feel I am instilling better habits in them.  I try to get them involved too!  Every Monday is DVD workout day with my son and he picks the workout.  He likes the Jillian Michael and P90X workouts. It is fun; sometimes we get a little bit silly, and it is great that he is getting some exercise at the same time.

So, set some small goals, figure out what rewards will keep you motivated, and don’t feel guilty about spending some time and money on yourself.  Trust me, it’s a very good investment.  Remember, YOU are your best friend and YOU have to take care and love yourself FIRST before you can give love to others!

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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.  She plants her flag on a small corner of the web called  Go Slim  where newsletters flow and other insightful articles whisper on the digital winds.

Ripped Abs

Image

I don’t feel I will ever have the abs that I see in the magazines and in the movies and I am ok with that, but I would like to reduce the amount of belly fat that I have around my midsection.

I know that a healthy waist measurement for women at most 35 inches and for men it is 40 inches.  I also know that if I want to see any of the muscle I have built in my core I will probably need to get that measurement below 30, but the waist is the last area of my body that I am still carrying some extra pounds.

I lost the majority of my weight eating high fiber, low fat foods.  I have been coming to realize now thought that it seems research is suggesting that a diet that is lower in carbs, with higher protein and fat is what will really help with belly fat reduction.  Also, many fitness professionals, trainers, etc preach eating higher protein to help build the muscle we are working so hard on.

So, what does this all mean?  Well, you have to do what works best for you.  If you want to give this type of eating plan a try then think eating vegetables (especially greens), lean meats, nuts, seeds, little starch, and no sugar.

To monitor your progress with respect to working on your 6 pack take a waist measurement today and every month for the next three months.  Good luck!

Having a Healthy Self-Image

It has been a couple weeks since I posted since I was away for a much needed vacation.  We spent one week in Yellowstone National Park enjoying nature, hiking, animal watching, and just having a great time.  It was a trial to get ready to go, and then a bit of an adjustment getting back into the swing of things once we were back home.  This was true in all aspects, including our food choices.  While on vacation we ate a bit more than normal, although we ate very healthy, because we were so active with hiking and such.  Coming back home, it was tempting to continue snacking on trail mix, but I knew that would not be good sitting at my desk all day!  After a couple days, I am back to my normal routine, thankfully!

One of the things that came to my mind while out and about was the topic of self-image.  You know, I love being out and socializing, but sometimes I get to feeling insecure about myself and how I look, as I am sure that many do from time to time.  It is easy to get in the mode of comparing ourselves to others and finding ourselves coming up short in how we look, our body image, our level of success or whatever the case may be.  So, I decided to do some research and learn more about our self-image or self-esteem.

Self-image is a term that is used to describe our personal view of ourselves.  It is a mental image of our charecteristics that might include beauty, talent, personality, etc.

Where does our self image come from?  It is learned from our parents and caregivers, teachers, friends, family, and relationships.  Our self image may be real or it can be distorted.  Based on this view of ourselves, we obviously develop a positive or negative image of ourselves.  Our self image is important because it affects how we respond to life and it’s stresses.

The good news is that it is not permanently fixed!  If you find that you have a poor self image there are steps you can take to turn it around.  The first thing we must do is learn to accept and love ourselves.  It is easier when we feel loved and accepted by others, so surround yourself with people who build you up, not bring you down.

Some other tips are to take a self inventory, define personal goals and be sure they are realistic, confront thinking distortions, identify childhood labels, STOP COMPARING OURSELVES TO OTHERS, develop our strengths, give ourselves positive affirmations that are real and not just quotes from a book, remember that each one of us is unique, be sure to laugh and smile a LOT, and remember how far we have come in life.  It does not matter who you are or where you are at in life’s journey…you have your own successes, your own accomplishments, and there are things about you that make you special and awesome!

Our self-image in respect to body-image is basically the same as above, but if you have a poor body image, it takes more than just changing your body…it is about changing how we think, feel, and react to our body.  Obviously weight management and surgery can alter the body but learning to have a positive relationship with an imperfect body increases our ability to lose weight.  Again, learning to love and accept ourselves for what we are…all our strengths and weaknesses is the key to having a healthy self-image.  Challenging misleading body assumptions are important too!  Most people do not look like the women do in the magazines.  Find your own beauty and everything will make sense and fall into place.

One last thing I would like to mention regarding self-image is this….Failure does not define you!  When you make a mistake or slip up, it does not characterize you as a person or determine your self-worth.  We are all a work in progress.  We learn from our mistakes. If we are not messing up now and again, we are not growing.  So to quote one of my favorite teachers, Joyce Meyers, “We may not be where we want to be, but at least we are not where we were.”

So, on that note, keep up the good work including eating healthy, working out, getting good sleep and proper supplements.  Keep reading and together we will reach our goals!

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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

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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