Archive for the tag - resolutions

14 Healthy Tips – Not About Food Or Exercise.

Today’s guest post is by Davey Wavey’s good friend and spiritual weight release coach, Diane Petrella. Diane is also one of the contributors to The Davey Wavey Weight Loss Program.

bigstock-young-handsome-man-doing-yoga-28364720Happy New Year! Instead of making challenging resolutions (like losing those last 10 pounds or getting up for the gym every morning at 5:30 a.m.), I recommend starting the new year with a re-commitment to your overall health and fitness.

In honor of 2014, here are 14 of my favorite ways to recommit—that have nothing to do with eating and working out. Because while good nutrition and exercise are important, equally important are coping with stress to curb emotional eating, staying mentally focused on what you want to achieve, becoming spiritually grounded to trust yourself, and last but definitely not least, using the power of your mind to follow through.

1. Choose a theme for the year.

A theme (such as patience, forgiveness, courage, etc.) guides your growth and progress through the coming year. It becomes the lens through which you make choices. 

For example, if your theme for 2014 is self-compassion, think how you will bring self-compassion to your weight loss journey every day. If your theme is health-first, how does that affect your daily habits. See what I mean?

2. Ground yourself.

Breathing is one of the most powerful ways to manage stress and emotional eating triggers. Here’s an easy and effective technique called “Four-Step Breathing”:

Slowly take in a deep breath as you silently count to four.
Hold the breath for four counts.
Slowly release the breath as you silently count to four.
Hold again for four counts. 
Repeat several times.

3. Choose your words wisely.

Eliminate the following from your vocabulary: Try, should, can’t. These disempowering words add struggle to your weight-loss journey and weaken your confidence. For example:

Change: “I’ll try to take a walk today” to “I will (or, I won’t) take a walk today.”
Change: “I should eat a salad” to “It’s good for me to eat a salad.”
Change: “I can’t exercise this week” to “I choose not to exercise this week.”

In the long run, being positive and honest with yourself keeps you strong.

4. Use the power of your imagination.

Success is first created in the mind. Take five minutes every day to visualize what it looks and feels like to release the next five pounds. Or imagine yourself reaching your goal weight. Especially important is capturing the feeling associated with what you’re visualizing. This inner work ensures the outer work of your actions take hold.

5. Create your reality.

Don’t listen to those who say weight loss is “hard” and difficult.” Remember, the quality of your thoughts create the quality of your journey, so if you believe it will be hard, it will be.

 Choose to believe this instead:

“I reach my weight loss goals with ease and grace.”

Similarly, move from thinking you’re someone who “struggles” to lose weight, to believing you’re someone who is becoming thinner and fit. This simple mind shift makes a big difference.

6. Plant your intentions everywhere.

When setting passwords for sites or accounts you frequently access, choose words or phrases that inspire you and reflect goals you want to reach. For example:

Iluvmybody
Iweigh__lbs (insert desired weight)
Iamhealthy

You type these every day, right? So, instead of the same old password, each time you write these you affirm your intention to release weight and live a healthy lifestyle.

7. Stop complaining.

It can be tempting, but don’t join others in negative conversations about how “hard” it is to lose weight, how “bad” your body looks, or how “awful” it is to get older. These conversations poison your mind and body, shake your confidence and will become your reality unless you do not to participate in such talk.

8. Choose whether you “release” or “lose” weight.

I like to say “release” weight rather than “lose” weight—and people often ask me why. Practice this exercise to find out:

Get quiet. Close your eyes. Say to yourself a few times:
“I want to lose weight.” Notice the sensations in your body.
Clear that thought and then say to yourself,
“I want to release weight.”
Again, notice what that feels like. Open your eyes.

What did you notice? Many people feel a sense of lightness with “release” and some tension with “lose.” What did you experience?

9. Start a success journal.

Keep a notebook by your bed. Before going to sleep, write your answers to this question:

“What steps did I take today to care for my mind, body and spirit?

For example:

“I parked away from the store entrance to walk farther.”
“I didn’t beat myself up for overeating at lunch.”
“I took ‘Me’ time to read an inspirational book.”

Writing in your success journal trains your mind and brain to scan your experiences and find the healthy choices you’re making. Your attention shifts away from looking only at what’s “not working” to notice what’s going well. Your memory becomes imprinted with images of taking good care of yourself, inspiring you to keep moving forward.

10. Affirm good health.

Within your body and soul you already possess perfect health, unwavering strength, and profound wisdom. Affirmations help you to believe this on a deep level. Repeat these affirmations daily to call forth what’s already there:

“I am healthy. I am strong. I am wise.”

11. Embrace what feels hard.

Sometimes the most important thing to do feels like the hardest thing to do, especially when releasing weight. For example:

When you’re upset with yourself for overeating, speak to yourself with compassion.
When you feel demoralized about the time it’s taking to release weight, be patient.
When you feel shame toward your body, send it love.

Hard doesn’t mean impossible. It starts with a willingness to do what feels hard until it becomes easy.

12. Make it easy.

If you’ve learned to “reward” yourself for “good behavior,” or give yourself a treat for doing something challenging, this may feel counter-intuitive, but…

Start to take your accomplishments in stride. For example, after eating healthfully for a few days or exercising after work, respond as if this were a common occurrence. Say to yourself, “that felt so good” or “that was easy.” In this way you’re creating an inner vision of new habits being something you do naturally and easily rather some extra-special feat. Over time this outlook helps you weave new behaviors into your life as the normal course of events.

13. Ask your body what it needs.

Take some time today—every day—to get quiet, go within and ask your body what it needs from you. For example, close your eyes and draw your attention inward. Take a few breaths to settle yourself. Then, ask your body:

“What do you need today so you will feel loved and well-cared for?”

Listen and follow through with what you hear. Take that relaxing bath. Get up and go for that walk. Guidance that emerges from your body wisdom is more important than any information you’ll find elsewhere.

14. Think into the future.

Ask yourself:  “How do I want to feel one hour (or one day) from now?”

This powerful question helps you anticipate the results of your choices, guiding you to choose wisely. For example, before entering a food-challenging situation, imagine how you want to feel as you drive home. Taking a moment to close your eyes and visualize your desired result, and the feeling attached to that result, energetically aligns your mind and body to help you make choices that move you in that direction.

So, no matter how you feel right now and no matter what happened with your weight over the holidays, use one or all of these mind-power tips to recommit to your weight-loss journey. What is important is this present moment and the choices you make today. As Abraham Lincoln said, “The best way to predict the future is to create it.” Here’s to creating a healthier you in 2014!

7 Healthy New Years Resolutions to Make TODAY!

shutterstock_62795851They say that you should only make one New Year’s resolution at a time… but today, we’re going to go full throttle. With the new year fast approaching, here are seven healthy resolutions that will transform your life.

  1. Thank your body every day. When you wake up, you pee. And then brush your teeth. And take a shower. It’s a routine. As part of your routine, introduce a bit of gratitude directed at your body. The truth is, most of us are accustomed to negative commentary about the way we look. Whether it’s beating ourselves up for being too heavy, out of shape or for just getting older, let’s replace that negative self talk with something more positive. Each morning, thank your body for all that it does. It only takes a few seconds, but it’s a powerful way to transform your thinking.
  2. Eat two servings (or less) of red meat each week. Red meat is bad for the body and it’s bad for the environment. In an often-cited Harvard study, researchers found that 9% of male deaths and 7% of female deaths would be prevented if people lowered red meat consumption to 1.5 ounces (or less) per day. In another study, although beef only accounts for 30% of meat consumption in the developed world, it’s responsible for 78% of the emissions. Replace red meat with other protein sources like beans, chicken and fish. And when you do eat red meat, opt for lean cuts.
  3. Buy organic for dirty dozen produce. Each year, the Environmental Working Group puts together a list of fruits and vegetables with the most pesticide residue. If you’re concerned about pesticide exposure or want to do something good for the Earth, these are the fruits and vegetables to buy organic. The list include apples, celery, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, grapes, hot peppers, nectarines (imported), peaches, potatoes, spinach, strawberries and sweet bell peppers.
  4. Complete at least 2, 15-minute high intensity interval training (HIIT) sessions per week. HIIT involves alternating between levels of moderate and high intensity cardio. Few exercises benefit your body like HIIT. It boosts your metabolism, incinerates calories, burns body fat and results in less muscle mass loss when compared to traditional, steady-pace cardio.
  5. Eliminate soda. Soda, even in diet forms, is toxic for our bodies. With so many diseases and conditions linked to soda consumption, cut it out of your diet. Your body deserves better. Instead, nourish your body with water mixed with lemon juice. Or drink unsweetened almond milk.
  6. Eat more fiber. According to one study, 95% of Americans don’t get enough fiber. Beyond helping you feel full longer, high fiber diets may lower the risk of colon cancer, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes – and fiber helps normalize bowel movements and lower cholesterol. How much fiber do you need? According to The National Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Medicine, men 50 and under should consume 38 grams of fiber per day. Men ages 51 and older should consume 30 grams. Women 50 and under should consume 25 grams of fiber per day. Women ages 51 and older should consume 21 grams.
  7. Take an exercise class. You can teach an old dog new tricks, and by enrolling in an exercise class – be it yoga, zumba, Pilates, CrossFit or anything in between – you’ll learn some new moves and find new ways to stimulate your muscles. Not only will you be getting off the couch, you’ll add variety to your workout – and may even meet a few new friends. And exercise class friends are the coolest.

These are my seven suggestions for healthy New Year’s resolutions… but what resolutions do you plan on making? Share your resolution or resolutions in the comments below!

Stop Making Decisions of Someone Who Deserves Less.

It’s a new year – and a new opportunity to create a different path forward.

Instead of recycling the same mindset and mentality of years gone by, let’s try something new. Rather than making decisions from a place of deprivation or denial, let’s shift the focus. Let’s come from a place of self-love.

It’s not about skipping the extra slice of cheesecake because you’re not supposed to eat it. It’s about selecting a smarter dessert choice because you want to nourish your body with the nutrients it craves and needs.

It’s not about going to the gym because you hate your body and desperately want to look different. It’s about exercising because you love your body – and you want to honor it with movement and sweat. After all, without your body, you can’t experience the joys of life, like wrapping your arms around someone you love, watching a sunset or swimming in the ocean.

In 2013, let’s shift our focus to a place of self-love. And as you do, it becomes infinitely easier and a million times more effortless to make decisions that promote better health.

You deserve good health – so stop making decisions of someone who deserves less. This is YOUR year.

Tips: New Year’s Resolution Success!

A recent study found that 73% of Americans give up on their fitness-related New Year’s resolutions. In all actuality, the news comes as no surprise. But instead of focusing on the negative, let’s look at the positive: More than a quarter of Americans stuck with their fitness-related resolutions!

So what can we learn from them?

When people gave up, it was for the following reasons:

  • 42 percent said it’s too difficult to follow a diet or workout regimen
  • 38 percent said it’s too hard to get back on track once they fall off
  • 36 percent said it’s hard to find time

Let’s take a closer look at each of these stumbling blocks.

Too Difficult to Follow Diet/Workout

When you’re trying something different, it’s a good idea to ‘lean’ into the change – rather than jump right in with both feet. As humans, we’re creatures of habit; we’re not good at dealing with change. Instead of going from 0 days per week at the gym to 6 days per week, it’s much more sustainable to start small. Go two days a week, and then build up from there. This will prevent burnout.

The same philosophy applies to diet. Instead of trying an extreme and unsustainable diet – like giving up carbs altogether – do something that’s less dramatic. Strive to make one meal a day healthier – or aim to include steamed veggies with most of your dinners. Start small and remember that even small changes add up to big results over time.

Too Hard to Get Back on Track

Everyone falls down. There’s a great proverb that says failure isn’t falling down, but refusing to get back up. Whether you’re trying to lose weight or build muscle or anything in between, your journey will almost certainly be paved with obstacles.

I tell my clients to define their obstacles. For example, eating out at restaurants can be a huge challenge for someone looking to lose weight. But once you’ve defined the potential problem, you can create a game plan for dealing with it. You can have the waiter box up half your meal before it arrives at the table. Or you can research restaurants in advance for healthy options.

Know your challenges and create a game plan for dealing with them.

It’s Hard to Find Time

The 27% of people who succeed at their resolution know something very important: No one finds time. You create time.

Our schedules are all very busy and hours aren’t like pennies that you might find on the sidewalk. I’ve never met anyone that said, “Oh, I just found an hour! Let me go work out!” Instead, we need to look at our schedules and prioritize our health over other less-important commitments (like watching TV).

Moreover, keep in mind that regular exercise extends your life – and makes you healthier. In other words, it’s more accurate to say that no one has time NOT to workout.

The bottom line: This year, apply the wisdom of the 27% and stick with your resolution. You deserve it! This is your year!

When and How to Get Started?

Start here, and start now. 6 months from now, you'll be very glad you did.

It’s the new year and you’ve made a resolution to live healthier. Great! But when and how do you start?

The when is easy. The answer is, of course, now. The present moment is the only moment in which you’ll ever live – try as we might to live in the past or future. All decisions are made in the present moment and all actions are taken in the present moment.

And if you do act right now, in six or twelve months, you’ll be very glad that you did. Just think if you made (and stuck to) this resolution a year ago; you’d already be enjoying a transformed life. But instead of looking back, let’s stick to this present moment and know that the time for change is now.

The how can seem trickier. And indeed, the how will be different from person to person, and it really depends on your goals. As I’ve mentioned a million times, I advise my clients to commit their goals to writing (it makes it official!) and abide by the S.M.A.R.T. philosophy of specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and timely goals.

But while the details of what you need to do to make your S.M.A.R.T. goal a reality can seem overwhelming, remind yourself that all you need to do is take the first step. The realization of a goal is really the sum total of many small steps – and you just need to take the first one. It doesn’t seem so daunting, does it?

So the bottom line is this: Right now, take the first step. Just one step – whatever it might be for you. It might be the hardest step to take, but it’s also the most important.

P.S. There are only 48 hours left to use discount code “youtube” and save 25% off The Davey Wavey Weight Loss Program. It’s been my most successful product launch ever – and I’ve been getting tons of great feedback. Snag your copy today before the discount ends!

The Science of Sticking to Your New Year’s Resolution.

Happy New Year!

According to a study by Richard Wiseman, a psychologist at the University of Hertfordshire, only 22% of us have managed to keep our New Year’s resolutions. In other studies, I’ve seen that number as low was 8%. Whether it’s hitting the gym, changing our diet or kicking bad habits, when it comes to New Year’s resolutions, our success rate is alarming low.

But Wiseman’s team doesn’t stop there and asks the all-important question, “Why?” Why are so many people unable to keep their resolutions?

For the 78% of people that didn’t stick to their resolutions, the study found common themes. These individuals:

  • Focused on the downside of not achieving their goals,
  • Suppressed cravings,
  • Adopted a role model,
  • Or relied on willpower alone.

The individuals that stuck to their resolutions, on the other hand, tended to:

  • Break their large goals into small steps and create small changes that, over time, added up,
  • Celebrate their milestones,
  • Share their goals with friends (for additional accountability),
  • Focus on the benefits of success (i.e., how their resolution would improve the quality of their life),
  • Keep a diary of their progress.

Following the above strategies increases the probability of success to a whopping 50% – and it speaks to the necessity of creating a do-able, realistic plan and the importance of internal motivation, rewards and external accountability.

Of course, if you don’t stick to your resolution, I wouldn’t view it as failure. Doing so, as Wiseman notes, “is often psychologically harmful because it can rob people of a sense of self control.” Instead, it’s wiser to view our missteps are learning experiences. If you try to build muscle, for example, and don’t – well, then you know you need to use a different approach. After all, failure isn’t falling down – it’s staying down.

Here’s to a happy and healthy 2012!

5 Tips to Get Fit in 2012!

It’s almost time to welcome in 2012 – and I think it’s important to ring in the new year on the healthiest foot possible.

So, I put together a short video with five simple and easy tips for you to make 2012 the healthiest year ever! Check it out and let me know what you think!

Happy Holidays!

Plan for Your New Year’s Resolution Today!

Davey's New Year's resolution is to eat less red meat. What is yours?

2012 is just around the corner, and so it’s time to start thinking about your New Year’s resolutions. While we can resolve to live healthier each and every day, there’s no better time to renew that commitment than the start of a new calendar year.

In planning for a New Year’s resolution, I follow 9 guidelines including writing my resolution down on paper (this makes it seem more official), articulating why my resolution really matters and shifting my focus to the changes that I need to make.

Today, I decided on my resolution for 2012. I will limit my consumption of red meat to two meals per week.

In a lot of ways, red meat is my go-to meal. Hamburgers are quick, easy and delicious – and they help me reach my daily protein requirements. Not to mention the meatballs, meatloaf and steak. But red meat is notoriously bad for the environment and rich in unhealthy fats. This resolution is important to me because it will help improve the health of both my physical body and my extended body (this planet).

Rather than just focusing on the resolution (i.e., 2 red meat meals or less each week), it makes sense to focus on the changes that are required. When shopping, I’ll replace my beef purchases (like ground beef) with poultry (like ground turkey). Moreover, I’ll need to explore and learn new recipes with leaner alternatives. These are the steps that I need to take.

With just over a week to go, what resolutions are you considering for 2012? Let me know in the comments below. I’ll send three random commentators a free copy of my Ultimate Guide to Working Out to help kick things off.

7 Tips: Finding Time for Exercise.

In actuality, it’s not so much about finding time to workout as it is about creating time to workout. If you take a look at your typical schedule, there’s probably not a whole lot of time where you’re standing in your apartment doing nothing. We find uses for our time, whether it’s building our careers, spending time with friends, or even watching TV or playing on Grindr.

As such, most people can rightfully claim that they don’t have the time to workout. But as I’ve said before, either create time for exercise now – or find time for disease and health issues later.

So, how does one create time for exercise in the new year? It’s not as hard as it might seem. Here are a few tips:

  1. Write out your schedule. Grab a few sheets of paper – this is one of the exercises in my Ultimate Guide to Working Out – and plot out your daily commitments, Monday through Sunday. Look for spots of available time.
  2. Recognize that something else might need to go. Even after following tip #1, most people will find that they’re still hard pressed to find gym time. Tuesday nights might be great, for example, but that’s when Glee is on. If your schedule is fairly full, then there’s probably going to be a trade-off. Something else might need to go – and in the big scheme of life, few things are as important as health.
  3. Schedule your gym times. Build standing gym-dates into your calendar. You’ll be able to plan around your allotted gym time, ensuring that you don’t overbook yourself.
  4. Don’t cut into sleep time. Shaving a few hours off of your sleep time, either at night or early in the morning, is tempting – but it’s the worst place you can look to free up extra time (unless, of course, you’re already sleeping more than 8 hours). Most of us are living with sleep deficits as it is, so don’t cut time here. Note: You can shift your sleep times – i.e., get up at 6AM instead of 7AM, but only if you go to bed an hour earlier.
  5. Sneak in a gym trip during your lunch break. If you have a gym near your place of employment, hit the weights and/or treadmill during your lunch hour.
  6. Put an active spin on your existing commitments. Maybe your schedule is already booked, but there are opportunities to up the activity level for your existing commitments. For example, if you are meeting up with a friend – go on a hike, climb a rock wall or just take a walk. If you’re not willing to miss Glee, make use of the commercial breaks for exercise.
  7. Maximize your workout. Going to the gym doesn’t need to be a 2 hour commitment. Give yourself a quality, efficient workout to make the most of your time.

We’re all busy. But “busy” is not a reasonable excuse to put off going to the gym. I hope these tips help you manage your tip and get the most out of your workout.

Any other tips? Let me know in the comments below!

7 Ways I’m Making 2011 the Healthiest Year of My Life!

We’re only a few hours days into the new year, but I’m already convinced that 2011 is going to be the healthiest year of my life. This year really will be different, because I’m making not just talking the talk – I’m walking the walk.

Walking the walk requires making changes. And I’m doing just that:

  1. I’m cooking more. And buying fewer prepared foods. Prepared foods are packed with things that aren’t nourishing for our bodies – including huge amounts of sodium. You might not know what goes into a can of Spaghettios. But you do know what goes into a dish of pasta that you cooked yourself. Cooking your own meals is an easy way to cut down on a whole slew of undesirables.
  2. I’m flossing. This time, I mean it. In addition to resulting in cleaner teeth and fresher breath, flossing has also been linked to a reduction in heart disease.
  3. I’m adding more variety to my workout. Our muscles become accustomed to our routines, and thus they can become less challenging over time. By changing up our workout variables (like base of stability, rest time durations, sequencing, intervals in cardio training, exercise type, etc.), we can keep our workouts challenging.
  4. I’m using sea salt instead of table salt. It’s a small step, but equal measurements of sea salt actually have less sodium than table salt because the larger crystals take up more room. There is more air space with sea salt, so it’s an easy way to cut sodium without sacrificing flavor. Having said that, sea and table salt contain equal percentages of sodium by weight – and neither is healthy. Most of us get way too much salt to begin with.
  5. I’m buying more frozen vegetables. And hopefully eating them, too. Flash frozen vegetables are a great addition to anyone’s diet. They are healthy, easy to prepare and super convenient.
  6. I’m washing my hands more. In the past few months, I’ve gotten better at washing my hands more frequently. It’s a simple way to reduce the risk for illness, and it’s especially important after hitting the gym and handling all those dirty weights!
  7. I’m saying “no” to things that will result in overcommitment. And saying yes to enjoying life. It’s not always easy to say no to friends, family or coworkers – but I’m getting pretty good at it. Instead of giving 50% of myself to a whole bunch of things, 2011 will be all about giving 100% of myself to fewer things. In fact, I just realized that this is my belated New Year’s resolution: To give more of myself to fewer things. I love it!

Okay, so those are the 7 things to which I’m now committed. It’s in writing, so it’s official. But what are some other great ways to be healthier that you’d recommend? Let us all know in the comments below!