Friday, September 26, 2014

Friday Fives: "Five Ways I Motivate Myself to Enjoy the Gym"- As Told by Pam @

Hi Guys!  My name is Pamela and I run the website A Little Glitter.  I blog about all types of things (fashion, beauty, motherhood, events, decor and lately working out/health).  I would love for you to stop on over and visit sometime. 
I've been skinny fat my whole life.  I've never had to work out or watch what I ate and I've always stayed pretty thin.  Before you start to hate me, let me just say that this year that behavior is finally starting to catch up with me.  My bad cholesterol is too high, I have no muscle tone and I am starting to gain weight.  Also, I see all these skinny bitches on the internet with these cute little butts and muscly bodies and I want that, too!  So, I signed up for the gym and I am going about three times a week.  That being said, I am not a work out person.  I know people that wake up and CANT WAIT to go to the gym.  I think about throwing myself down the stairs so that I can get out of it.  It is not effortless for me to attend.  I am going to share with you some of the ways that I motivate myself to go and enjoy my time there.

1.  Cute sneakers.  I feel better about myself when I look better. I am the ugliest workout person ever.  I do not glisten.  I SWEAT.  Also, my face turns beet red.  I cant control those things but I can wear some cute I do.  Here are some that I am obsessed with:

Swarovski Crystal Nikes

2.  Fabulous workout clothes.  Same idea as number one.  I love tanks with funny sayings on them like this one:
Running away tank 
(It also doesn't hurt that it matches my dream sneakers pretty well!)

3.  Music.  If I forget my headphones I am pretty much over it.  I may as well go home.  I wont work as hard or for as long.  I am totally unable to motivate.  My all-time favorite cardio song is Pursuit of Happiness by Kid Cudi.  It has a great beat and I find myself running faster when I'm listening to it.  

Kid Cudi feat. Steve Aoki - Pursuit of Happiness (Project X Video Edit by Mr. Habela) from DJ Mr.Habela on Vimeo.

4.  Putting classes in my planner.  I am a list maker.  I refer to my planner every day.  If I have a pilates or barre class written down on my list in there I want to check it off.  

5.  Hot Girls.  If all else fails, I make myself look at pictures of toned up, muscly girls on Pinterest for at least five minutes.  It motivates me to work hard so I can look like them and I remember that I am not going to get a cute butt by sitting on it.  I have to get up and head out in order to achieve that derriere.
I hope I was able to inspire you today!  Have a fabulous weekend!  xo

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Creating a Lifestyle or The Benefits of not Peaking in High School

It sounds so cliché to say, "I'm not on a diet, this is my lifestyle." However, when was the last time you stayed on a "diet" for an extended period of time. Like forever? You don't, because for a few months it might be easy to turn your nose up at pancakes and say no thank you to pizza, and delicious treats, but sooner or later, if you're still thinking about your choices as a means to an end, instead of a way to create lasting change, when you get stuck, or when you meet your goal, it's going to be difficult to stay on track. Take a second, because that is actually all you will need, one second, to list all of the crash diets you went on that had lasting effects, other than PTSD or sudden bursts of uncontrollable rage that might still sneak up when someone suggests you eat plain tuna fish with a saltine. When you are done with that, let's go back to the original thought, that for something to stick, it can't be a temporary quick fix, it has to be a long term change.

You know that friend you have who peaked in High School? Let's call him Kenny. He was the Quarterback, his year book quote was "Fuck bitches, get money," and he was voted "Most likely to end up married to a super model." You're pretty sure everyone wanted to date him, or be him. But when you just ran into him, he's currently sporting a beer belly, rocking his high school football team t-shirt, he only fits into sweat pants, he's bald. Kenny lives in his moms basement. That is you on a crash diet. Things are going great. You're eating 900 calories a day and managing not to pass out, weight is dropping, you haven't even thought of eating bread for the past few weeks because you are doing so great. Basically everyone wants to be you. You are dedicated. You are strong. If people don't want to be you, then they should want to be you. So now you lost your 15 pounds, which was most likely made up of water and your shriveling soul. What do you do? Can you keep this going much longer? Do you want to? Without actually researching this and having any real facts to back me up, I'm going to say, over 90% of the time, people fall right back into their old eating habits, and I'm going to say sometimes they end up gaining more weight than they lost. You don't have to be the dieting equivalent of Quarterback Kenny's adult life.

Now remember George? No, no one remembers George. But George was quiet. Studied. Asked you to prom 8 times. George was skinny and all he had to offer was his prescription strength Pro-active. George wasn't voted anything, because no one knew who George was. George is the boy your parents told you to be like, or to date, but you couldn't hear them over the nail gun you were using to build a shrine to Kenny. George didn't drop out of high school because no one liked him, he kept going, then he graduated, and in grad school his acne finally cleared up, and now he dates an 8 with real boobs, and, he can afford to own a home. This is you committing to a lifestyle of fitness. Maybe in the past it hasn't been easy, and maybe you've achieved your ultimate goal before and then slid back, but in this moment, you're going to grad-school! Congrats! That's a commitment and just think of the babe you're going to meet there.

Changing your mindset from losing weight fast and being on a diet, to making a long term commitment to your health is huge part of making goals that last. Kenny was just going to school so he could hump the head cheerleader under the bleachers and then go home, George was going to school so he could better himself and have a life and career he wanted. I just got a little serious here talking about my fictional high school peers, but the moral of the story is, when things take time and you earn them, you feel accountable to yourself, you are better able to look back and say, look how far I've come, I never want to go back. Kenny wishes he was walking the halls of his high school every day he wakes up and catches a glimpse of himself in the mirror, George barely thinks about high school, except to wonder when the next reunion is so he can show off his hot girlfriend and his designer pants.

When we crash diet, one of the problems is that, even though it may be hard to restrict yourself to the gallon of air you are allotted to eat per day, you learn that you can suffer through this for a few days, you'll lose ten pounds fast. Even if you gain it back immediately, you still have it in your mind that it's possible to lose ten pounds in 3 days. Just like Kenny sat through math so he could play football, he didn't really learn anything; he got a D, but hey that wasn't an F, and he still made Varsity. But look where Kenny is today. Don't you want better for yourself?

The most important thing to do, is be realistic about your goals. Clients often tell me they want to lose X amount of weight, but they want to do it in such a short time, there is no way that they could do it in a healthy way, and keep it off for the long term. The problem is, I soon find out, that they have crash dieted in the past so they know they are capable of losing 10 pounds in a week. I always have to point out how that seems to have worked for them, since they've kept it off so well. As people reset their mind to a realistic goal, say 1-2 pounds per week, it is easier to show them that if they have an off day and eat off plan, they can still make progress or not go backwards by eating real food and the correct amount of calories. If George loses his job, he has a nice savings account to fall back on while he gets back on his feet.

Next, remember what your overall goal is. If it is just to be healthy and fit, does it make a difference if it takes 6 years or a month to get to a specific weight or size? While being a size 4 is nice, remember every day you eat well and exercise, you are creating lasting benefits. Let's say you are training to run a 10k, and you follow your workout plan and running schedule, but one day, you eat some chips, and maybe some ice cream, and then decide well, today I'm also going to eat some Taco Bell, and then maybe some candy. Okay, fine, you were not on your best dieting behavior, but you definitely did not gain all of your weight back, and you did not undo all of your physical work. You will still be able to run 6 miles, and you will be able to lose any weight you gained by getting back on track. Because you have created habits, it will be easy for you to not keep eating Taco's and candy, and go back to eating the diet you know makes you feel best and helps you achieve your goals. Sometimes we forget the real reason we want to lose weight to begin with.  Yes, it is great to feel thin, or to not feel judged, but for the most part we are losing weight and working out as a way to stay healthy and even if you want to look good on your cruise in 3 weeks, don't you also want to keep looking good, like endlessly, without having to constantly diet go through a cycle of not being happy with how you look and feel?

Remember, Kenny got the girl in high school, but right now he's eating lasagna with his mom while George is cuddled up next to some DDs. So even though it is cliché, create a lifestyle for yourself, one that incorporates the choices you want to make that will help you make it to your goals. Even if it takes time, Georges acne scars didn't go away overnight, but that didn't stop him from washing his face every day.  

Contrary to how it may seem Pro-active did not sponsor this blog post, but if they would like to in the future, and you have connections, please let them know I can work them into any entry about anything.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Friday Fives: 5 Struggles I'm Facing in my First Month of Dieting - As Told By Snapchat:

For those of you who aren't familiar with Snapchat, mom, before I can share with you this week's Friday Five, let me give you a quick rundown. Snapchat, is an application for your cellular device. You still with me? It allows you to take a photo and send it to someone, but the cool part about this, is that after 1-10 seconds it goes away. Some people may send their exposed body parts, and others may just send pictures of themselves at their day job not yet being a famous blogger trophy wife. So whether you send your boobs, or your lunch, or something funny you just saw but not so funny you're gonna share it to Facebook, you know it is quick, and not going to stay on that persons phone forever. I'm from the camp that if someone is going to show their naked body to someone they should be there in person to get the gratification of hearing their body be appreciated. Regardless of how you choose to use it, Snapchat is a fun tool that some of my clients use to stay on track.  If you have a friend who lives far away, but helps keep you motivated, sometimes it's fun to schedule workouts at the same time. 99% of the time I would not want someone to have a picture of me directly after I have finished working out. Snapchat is a fun way to send a picture of you looking like you were just chased for 56 miles by a pack of dogs, with a thumbs up emoji, to show your best friend, you did in fact workout hard, simultaneously, to the point of a near death experience, without actually having to worry about how terrible you look.

This is a Snapchat:

Today's Friday 5 was brought to you by a client in her first month of a new program; she uses Snapchat to share with her friends what is going on in her diet.

5 Struggles I'm Facing in my First Month of Dieting

1) Staying on track when the food around me is soooo tempting.

(I'd like to point out here, that actually would be a legitimate way to lose weight, but I don't think the saying is an eye for an eye, an arm for an Oreo, and there's probably a good reason for that. )

2) Getting back into a workout routine without collapsing a lung.

(She probably had to kick her shoes off because that missing arm made it difficult to gently remove them. )

3) Setting REASONABLE goals and expectations for my weight loss and fitness regiment, even though I'd prefer to lose 70 pounds this month, I know that's not healthy, or realistic.

(You go Glenn Coco! Also weight loss jars are an amazing visual tool to aid weight loss, so really, you go!)

4)Feeling discouraged when I don't meet the goals I was hoping to.

(If you find a scale that always tells you your goal weight, please let us all know where to find it! However, even though this scale is clearly not playing by her rules it's adorable! )

5)Not drinking my calories, and pretending that I love water.

(Well these aren't the jugs I was promised I'd get through Snapchat!)

These five struggles are very common in the first month of starting a new program. You are retraining yourself and asking a lot of your body and your mind. This client is on point, because she is not only approaching her struggles with a sense of humor, she is sharing them with her friends. When you let others know what difficulties you're facing it makes it easier to face them knowing you have support. While the desire to rip off a limb in exchange for a cookie may be there, one armed snapchating may be difficult.  So just hang in there and remember you're not alone; even though the first month is difficult, just think, in a few months from now when you're snapchatting your naked body, how good you feel about yourself thanks to the struggles you faced in month one.

As always feel free to let me know if you have something you'd like to see on the blog. Comment below about your struggles and how you've managed them. If you haven't already, subscribe to the email and like the blog on Facebook (fitness from within)

Thanks for reading! 
-Nicole (and Snapchat)

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

The Subtle Ways not Eating Cake can be Similar to Staying STD Free

What is your all time favorite food? Basically, if you could just carry a huge sack full of something around forever, and eat it, without any negative effects, and without  having people judge you for reaching into a sack full of fried chicken legs that you happen to be carrying carry around on your back, what you would eat? Now, imagine being alone in a room with that food, and knowing that there are negative consequences, but you really, really, really want it. Well, certain "Fitspirational" quotes on instagram would lead you to believe that not giving into the food is as easy as just, exercising your saying no muscle. Or whatever. However, I completely disagree. If following a diet and exercise plan were so simple, then there wouldn't be a need for personal trainers, nutritionists, coaches, or even "Fitspo" quotes. If staying motivated and on track was as easy as shaking your head no when you are at a birthday party and someone offers you Salted Carmel Pumpkin Spice Chai Latte Double Chocolate Chip Cake, then everyone would be their goal size and shape, and pumpkin farmers would be shit out of luck.

There is an adorable, but completely monumental study in psychology, known as “The Marshmallow Study.” At the time, this pioneer study most likely didn't look like much, but has since become one of the most commonly replicated studies for psych 101 students. Beyond the psychology world, it’s not that well known. So if you haven’t heard of it, pull up a seat; in short, back in the 1960’s Walter Mischel, a psychologist and personality researcher ran a study in which he told children, you can have 1 marshmallow as soon as you want it, just ring this bell, or you can have 2 if you can wait for me to get back. Then, he left the child in the room with the marshmallow, and watched the child. Four year old children could wait up to 15 minutes before giving in and eating the marshmallow, and, school age children could hold out for so long, Walter actually felt bad for them and brought them the second marshmallow.  There was a difference of course between those children who ate the marshmallow, and those who did not, and it wasn't childhood onset diabetes. Mischel followed these children into adulthood and found that the children able to not eat the marshmallow exhibited a different skill set later in life than those who did.

It turns out, that the children who didn't eat the marshmallow used tricks to help them withstand the desire of just grabbing that treat. Some children imagined the marshmallow as a cloud, or some imagined the marshmallow as a picture in a frame. By making the treat an abstract item, the children were able to stop themselves and delay gratification. It probably means they also didn't punch kids for stealing their crayons.  It turns out these children also engaged their prefrontal cortex. The prefrontal cortex is the part of our brain where we plan complex behavior, and also where the decision making process begins. In conjunction with other parts of our brain, like the ones that form our reward system, which includes the prefrontal cortex, a lot goes on when we are trying to make a decision.

Picture yourself out with some friends, talking, having a good time, when the most gorgeous person you've ever laid eyes on walks in. Like for real; you hear angles singing, you have a flash of what your children will look like, and you're already upset that you'll have to cry at their death bed, I mean you're clearly so healthy that unfortunately  you will outlive this fine specimen. Your friends are next to you, egging you on, "Bro, just go say hi, get their number, come on man." But you're in a deep panic. It's not so easy as just exercising your grow some balls muscle is it?  What goes through your head? Think about this and this may help you develop an approach towards those tricky foods you want to say no to, or eat in moderation but just can't.

Usually, you'll go to similar situations in the past. The last 5 times you asked someone out, you were rejected. So now you think if I ask I'll be rejected. But what were you doing that got you rejected? Did you go over and make a lewd comment, to mask the fact that you were anxious, and then you helped this person make your decision for you? In a similar way, think about the times you wanted a treat but it wasn't in your plan, or you only wanted a serving size and ended up eating 4 boxes. Be honest with yourself here. It most likely isn't that you suck. If you sucked, you wouldn't be taking steps to make yourself better. Most likely, it's that, like the children who ate the marshmallow, knowing that if they waited a little longer they could have two, your brain is working a little differently.

Some successful daters may imagine that they are going to talk to an old friend, even if deep down they want to run screaming from the bar, they mentally put themselves at ease and lower their anxiety before making a fool of themselves.  Some of us are not abstract thinkers. So when it comes to food, it may be helpful if we could eat boiled chicken and imagine it is pizza, or stare at a marshmallow and think of it as a cloud, but if that's not possible, there are other tricks. One thing we can do is control our planning. I always recommend that you prepare yourself as best as you can for situations where you know there are going to be treats, so make sure you eat before hand, and have some healthy snacks with you. That way, if you have a cookie, you can still reach into your bag and eat some carrots or grapes. Sometimes, like the guy who approached a girl with no plan and ends up complimenting her boobs, if we approach a highly tempting situation with no plan, we are setting ourselves up to fail. Bringing your own treats can get tricky, I always have clients who are worried that people will judge them for eating almonds at a party. I have to remind them that their goals are important to them, and most of the time, a lot of these clients also feel judged when they eat unhealthy snacks in front of others, so you really have to make the choice to put your lifestyle choices ahead of others opinions.

Next we can work on our automatic responses as a way to challenge our existing reward system.  In the dating world, a typical reward system may look like this. Pretty girl + Me = YAY! You want to go up to the attractive person, because they make you feel like you could go on to do great things together forever...or at least for that night.  Have you ever had a friend tell you something like, "Well maybe that's not such a good idea, I'm pretty sure I see him out all of the time, and he leaves with a different girl every night." You have your immediate reward system saying "You + Me = YAY" but now you have a rational piece of information added to the mix. Potential Gonorrhea.  You can take a step back and rework the equation, you + me + everyone with 2 legs in a 20 mile radius= no.

Clearly, in addition to this blog I should also be a dating guru, but let me bring that back to food. In challenging our automatic reward responses, another good skill you can work on is stepping away, and "playing the tape." Really evaluate the whole situation. To do this, walk away from the food and  use an "If, Then, Because," statement. Say, "IF I eat the cake THEN I might not meet my goal this week BECAUSE I already had pizza at this party and that was the food off my plan I allowed myself for the day."  Using an If, Then, Because, statement helps you frame a decision in a rational way that your mind may not be wired to use. Your brain maybe hanging out going "CAKE, CAKE, CAKE, CAKE, CAKE, CAKEEEEE, it's sooo gooooood! IF you eat the the cake THEN you'll be happy, BECAUSE ITS CAKE!!!!!" So stepping away removes you from the immediate reward and helps you make the decision that is best for your goals, even if it may not be the decision  you are hard wired to make.

So, as always, I say have some of the cake, but use some of these skills to help yourself continuously make the choices you want to make. Sticking to a diet is not as easy as just wanting to do it. You can read all the inspirational quotes in the world, and have a team of high paid professionals helping you, but it isn't until you learn to modify your behaviors and approach to food, especially those that you want to eat in moderation or not at all, that you can start making the changes that will last a life time.  Just like in dating, if you want the persons number, you probably shouldn't grab their ass. Instead you should approach them with confidence and self control. When you approach food with confidence and self control, you will better be able to use your past experiences to plan  for success, and better be able to resist and control temptations.  While I am not a dating expert, feel free to let me know if you used my tips to score a date; please don't tell me if you ignored my warnings and got an STD.

If you want to watch something painfully adorable and relatable:

The Marshmallow Test:

Friday, September 5, 2014

Friday Fives: Gym Bag Essentials- As Told by Amanda

When I was in college, I bought an audio recorder. I had big visions of me recording lectures, and then sitting down promptly after class to listen to, and transcribe, said lectures. What that actually looked like, was I played Tetris during class, and never listened to a lecture once. But today, I dusted off the old recorder, removed the oxidized batteries, deleted 73 lectures from "An Oral History of the Written History of Uneventful Things that Happened in Psychology," and hit the gym to find someone to tell us what their 5 gym bag essentials are as I recorded them with the grace of Katie Couric.

Me: I’m like, maybe 80% sure I’m recoding this.
Amanda: Okay I’ll tell my agent.
M: Amanda, you are possibly being recorded, if not I’ll do my best to remember.
(I drop the recorder on the floor and accidentally kick it)
M: Well I’m probably not recording anything anymore
A: I think that red light means you are

As you can see this girl knows her stuff, and this is possibly why I didn’t listen to my recorded lectures. Amanda is a personal trainer here in NYC, and is always in the gym. Here are Amanda’s 5 Gym Bag Essentials:

1. Shaker bottle : Amanda’s shaker bottle has compartments in it, so you can take up less space in your gym bag with Tupperware, but still carry everything you need. Amanda keeps:

Vitamins (fish oil, multivitamin and Vitamin C) , 

and today Amino Acid, NOT COCAINE, in her shaker bottle, but sometimes keeps protein powder or pre-workout. “I don’t eat a lot of meat, so  I need to get my aminos somewhere.” Pre-workout is sometimes used by people, prior to working out to increase endurance.

2. Lock: Having a lock makes sense. This lock, has a key, which Amanda notes is difficult to keep track of, and we’ve both had the problem of locking a key in a locker and needing it cut off.

However, check out this nifty gym hack Amanda suggests if you forget a lock. A lot of the time people aren’t looking to find your unlocked items, they are just looking for a locker and if you happened to not have a lock that day but, brought your iPad, then, you might be in trouble. Amanda suggests taking a plastic baggie (most gyms will have these to put your sweaty clothes in), and tying it through the locker. Most people are not going to untie the bag, and it’s a good way to let people know that a locker is taken.

3. Head Phones: “ I always listen to something when I do my cardio. Lately instead of music I’ll listen to podcasts, things I don’t have time to do during the day.” If you forget your iPod, or you don’t want to use up the life on your phone, most cardio machines have jacks on the TVs and then you can watch your favorite Bravo shows without reading subtitles and falling off the treadmill.

4. Socks: “These socks are glittery, and they match the glitter in my shoes. I usually have a few pairs of socks in my gym bag. There is nothing more uncomfortable than showering and having to put on nasty socks.”

5. Deodorant: “No one wants to be that person at the gym who people are avoiding because they smell terrible. I got this on sale. That’s how I pick my deodorant. If it’s on sale and I don’t smell when I’m wearing it, it’s doing its job.”

Because this is a blog about how to find your wellness balance, and even though I enjoy insider tips on where I can find deodorant on sale, I asked Amanda how she helps her clients stay motivated. Amanda usually recommends group fitness classes, but stresses that you have the proper form when doing exercises like squats or deadlifts, to maximize benefits and minimize risk of injury. If you don't know how to do something- ask! Group fitness classes are great because they can mix up your routine, and the added benefit of being surrounded by others working hard keeps you working hard! If your gym doesn’t have classes, or you don’t belong to a gym, look up boot camps, find a Groupon for a fun activity, or look into what a day rate for a local gym that has classes may be. If none of these work,  get some friends together and create a circuit, or dust off your mothers VHS tapes, pull out your VCR, put on some Jane Fonda, and pretend you’re sweating with 30 other people.

(Jane Fonda was not present for this interview or available to comment on the essential-ness of Amanda's Five Gym Bag Essentials)  

Monday, September 1, 2014

Pumpkin Spice is the New Black

As summer comes to an end, and we pack away our bathing suits and our, "Suns Out Guns Out" tank tops the world delivers us pumpkin spice lattes, pumpkin spice donuts, pumpkin spice air; pretty much, this year, pumpkin spice is the new black. But whatever your favorite fall treat is, and it's most likely not pumpkin spice ricecakes, which I'm not sure if they exist, but chances are they will by the time I'm done typing this post, something delicious and autumnal will be calling your name every day. Additionally, we have a ton of 3-day weekends, holidays that revolve around food, and the natural instinct to put on weight to stay warm as we suffer through winter, from our heated homes. So what can we do to stay on track when there are all of these tempting treats being shoved under our noses, and the propensity to be 7/8 naked in public is greatly diminished?

1. Re-evaluate your goal. Say you weigh 180lbs and wanted to lose 10 pounds by December 1st, but you are going away for 2 weeks on vacation in October. Then you have Thanksgiving weekend, and then you have your goal date. You've been doing great, but you're worried about vacation. Set a small goal right before you go on vacation. Make your goal to not gain any weight, or to only gain 3 pounds. That way, just like I mentioned in Cheat Meals, you can have tastes of foods, but still opt for mostly healthy options. When you return, give yourself a day to get back to your typical diet and exercise plan, then weigh yourself the following morning. Did you maintain? Did you gain 5 lbs? If you gained weight, that's okay, by creating a goal to not gain weight, or by allowing yourself to gain a small amount of weight, you ate much healthier than you would have if you just said, "eh fuck it."  So way to go! You gained less then you probably would have, and you're already back to your healthy habits, congratulations, you're phenomenal!

2. Decide before you go away, even if you're only going home to your parents house for a 3 day weekend what your exercise schedule will look like. It's okay if it's less rigorous than you are used to, chances are you're not training for an Olympic team, so doing any exercise, instead of none, is beneficial. If you usually work out for an hour on Saturday, but realistically you'll only have 30 minutes, schedule it in, just like you've scheduled in seeing Sally who you just caught up with on facebook after not having talked to her since high school. This will be a time commitment you make with yourself. Give yourself an actual time to workout, and stick to it, by scheduling it in for yourself you'll have it in your mind that you've committed to it and you will be more likely to actually do it.

3. Let yourself have the pumpkin spice muffin, but balance it out by pairing it with a protein, like some eggs or a salad with chicken. Instead of just having the sweet, make it part of a meal instead of a snack or a treat. When you have the piece of chocolate, or the bite of pie, or the pumpkin spice everything, your brain gets so excited, it wants more. Essentially you're training yourself to want sweets or cake. By pairing it with nutritious options, since your brains reward system is already activated, you're helping yourself learn to eat better, and diminishing the rewarding effect of the sweets on your brain. At the same time, you are increasing the association between balanced meals and feeling fulfilled and happy. So don't deny yourself the occasional sweet, but just make it a part of a meal instead of a reward, or a cheat snack.

4. Don't be so hard on yourself. When we set our initial long term goals, we usually give ourselves a time limit. That can be a beneficial way to stay motivated, just like a work deadline for a project you wouldn't actually do unless you were going to be fired for not doing by a certain time, a goal to hit a certain mark by a certain time can be helpful. However, life happens. If someone died, your boss would probably give you an extension, if you aren't going to hit your goal, set a new goal, give yourself an extension. You've come so far so don't give up. Maybe you want to get back on track by the day you had set to hit your goal weight. Maybe you've been perfect and now your weight loss has slowed or platued. See a personal trainer or a nutritionist to mix things up and revamp your plan. Or even see a behavioral therapist to find out if there is more to this than meets the eye. Remember just because you didn't hit that long term goal, you've still come far, you just might have to be more realistic about when you'll get there, it doesnt mean you never will.

So even though we are covering our bodies with oversized sweaters, that probably have pockets to hold all of the delicious treats the world has to offer, not to mention that we didn't eat all summer, remember, you are working to have a healthy body all year round,  not just when your prancing around the beach trying to get a life gaurd to give you mouth to mouth even if you're not drowning. The biggest thing that happens in winter, is we get discouraged that we arent making the same progress, but it's only natural. You have been making changes for a few months now so progress will be less intense. Appreciate how far you've come, enjoy the treats in moderation, and create realistic wellness goals that you can stick to for now.

Remember, there is still time to subscribe to the email or follow the blog for the giveaway. Also, if you don't want to win free things, I understand that, but by following the blog on google + or bloglovin, and/or subscribing to the email, it lets me know if people are reading and enjoyingit enough for me to keep going. So if you read this, and like it, and don't want free things you are more than welcome to pass on the gift and continue to read the blog.

Thanks for reading!