“Remember that every moment is a choice” — Ali Vincent, Season 5 winner of The Biggest Loser.
This year, for the entire year, we will be saying that we are in the year 10. Although some of us may find it difficult to rid ourselves of saying oh-10 since we have been saying 07, 08, 09 for the past nine years. We thought, if this is going to be the year 10, why not make it the year of 10? We start off this year’s newsletter theme with a series we are calling, 10 ways.
It is difficult to start off a New Year without at least mentioning New Year’s Resolutions. For the majority of Americans, weight-loss will be number one on the resolutions list. In newsletter’s past, you have heard us say time and time again that weight loss is a by-product of a healthy lifestyle. In other words, if weight-loss is your resolution this year, we encourage you to focus on the aspects of your life that lead you toward a healthy lifestyle and not focus on the weight itself. If everything is in place, all your ducks in a row, you will be surprised that the unnecessary weight will disappear. This is because living and maintaining a life at a healthy body weight is a direct result of living a healthy lifestyle.
So, what exactly does living a healthy lifestyle mean? We have all heard the exercise, nutrition, water, sleep, etc. spiel before; we just have to do it. We kick off the 10 way’s series by listing 10 ways to put yourself at the top of your priority list in order to start taking better care of you. But first, let us tackle what seems to be to be the biggest and most daunting task of achieving a healthy lifestyle you.
The Importance of Taking Care of You
I (see note below) am going to use an analogy of pregnancy and how it relates to how well we take care of ourselves. My client, Joanna, recently shared with me her past discussions with her OBGYN when she had asked him what she needed to do to prepare herself for a future pregnancy. His immediate response was that if she was taking care of herself, he would not have anything else to tell her. Once Joanna learned she was pregnant, she said her Doctor’s recommendations really did not change that much. He prescribed pre-natal vitamins, but other than that, he just wanted her to continue to take good care of herself. She was very careful about what she ate, made sure she exercised regularly (and admits to being even more dedicated than she was prior to her pregnancy), cut out alcohol and caffeine, got enough restful sleep as her growing belly allowed, and she worked
hard to manage her stress levels through meditation and Yoga (definitely not anything she had done before). She says she felt good about taking care of herself because she knew that by doing this, she was directly affecting her baby’s health.
How Things Changed
Joanna had a beautiful pregnancy that resulted in a perfect baby boy, a little brother to her daughter who was only 14 months at the time. Fast-forward to her current situation.
Joanna is now a mother of two children, both under the age of two.
Joanna started training with me about six months after the birth of her second child to help her eliminate some of the post-baby weight. Initially, the extra exercise was enough to boost Joanna’s energy expenditure and help her drop some weight. Once she hit a plateau, and we had to dig a little deeper. We had regular conversations about her nutrition. Like so many mothers I have worked with, the children come first. The children are always fed their breakfasts on time, with a perfect assortment of foods, while Mom nourished herself with left-over corn tortillas and salsa four hours after she woke up and started assisting her babies.
Joanna does a wonderful job in taking care of her two children, but she forgets about herself. In the beginning, her body was strong enough to handle the extra stress. Now, almost 6 months later, she is feeling the effects of her neglect. Joanna is presenting signs that could potentially be a serious condition. Numbness in her arms and legs and her constant headaches have prevented us from exercising at any real intensity during her workouts. Her recent vertigo was enough to make her pursue further investigation into what may be going on with her health. While I encouraged her to finally talk to her doctor, I also wanted to ease her stress of the unknown by laying out what we do know. I asked her on a scale from 1-10, how well she felt she was taking care of herself. She answered without hesitation, Oh, definitely a 1!”
We talked about the importance of taking care of herself and how she needed to work to get back to the mindset she had when she was pregnant. She is certainly seeing the consequences of not taking care of herself, and how the neglect of her own health is directly affecting her ability to care for her children. I think the pregnancy analogy helped her see that by taking care of herself, she is, in fact, taking care of her children. At a young age of only 29, she understands the urgency of making the change now, so she can have a long, healthy future with her family.
Make Yourself Worthy
Many can relate to Joanna’s story, which is why I chose to share it in this issue. Pregnancy and young children aside, the take-away message is the importance of taking care of you and putting yourself as a priority. When you ask someone what the most important thing to them is, you’ll usually hear answers such as: children, parents, siblings, God, friends, etc. Very rarely will you hear someone mention themselves. But we are important in our own lives, aren’t we? So, why is it so hard to admit that we are a priority? And why is it so hard to PUT ourselves as a priority? Aren’t we worthy enough?
The answer is yes. We are worth it. Once we start living our lives believing we are worth it, we will find true success in our goals.
The Biggest Loser
My favorite episodes of The Biggest Loser are when the contestants finally realize all the excuses they have been hiding behind all these years. The process in which the trainers break down the contestants is sometimes hard to watch (and not always something I agree with), but when finally they get to the root of the problem, hearts open and tears flow. They realize all the neglect and disrespect they have shown themselves over the years and it is at this point, where they are truly ready for a change. Most contestants go on to make extraordinary changes in their lives while on the ranch and completely transform themselves. What is more interesting to me, however, is what happens when they go home. Out of curiosity, I followed up with some of the finalists over the past seven seasons to see where they are now.
Season One’s winner, Ryan Benson, started his weight-loss journey at 330 pounds. His final weight was 208. Currently, he weighs 300 pounds, only 30 pounds less than his original weight. Ryan comments that he had learned that with hard work he can do anything he puts his mind to, but said that the outward effects of the show only lasted for the next month.
“Unfortunately, keeping the weight off has been tough for me,” Ryan said. “So the biggest way it’s changed my life is I feel really guilty for gaining the weight back. I know the show inspires a lot of people, so I don’t like being the guy to disappoint.”
Andrea Baptiste, another contestant from Season One, has maintained her finale weight at 155 after losing a total of 59 pounds. My best tip to keep the weight off would be to invest in yourself, said Andrea. My journey on ˜The Biggest Loser allowed me to find that inner me, the lioness, who can now take care of herself better than ever.
Season One runner-up, Kelly Minner comments on her success after the show, I want to keep the weight off for life, Kelly said. I never want to go back to the lifestyle I had before. The biggest lesson she learned on the show is, I cannot lose weight for others, I cannot get healthy for others, I can only do it for me, Kelly said. Weight loss is so much more than eating healthy and working out. It is about believing in yourself and putting yourself first.
Dr. Jeff Levine, a Season Two contestant, who has maintained his finale weight within about 20 pounds, tells others that it is not selfish to put yourself first when it comes to health. You will be a far more effective parent, spouse or friend motivating someone else to change their behavior if you practice what you teach, he said.
Ali Vincent, the first-ever female to win the Biggest Loser, has successfully maintained her 109 pound weight-loss. Ali says the most difficult thing about coming home after being on the ranch was “figuring out where and how I fit me and my new lifestyle into the life I created when I was afraid of me.”
In recent news, Season three’s winner, Erik Chopin, revealed to the public that he has gained back an astonishing 175 pounds from the record-setting 214 pounds he had lost to win in 2006. He admitted that his goal, his specific finish line, was to lose 200 pounds. Once he had reached his goal, his motivation was gone. He had already lost the 200 pounds and became The Biggest Loser. He realized he was focusing on the wrong things. Erik now says he is learning how to put himself back on his own priority list. “When we were on The Biggest Loser, we always had to think of an inspirational theme for ourselves, and I always went to the family. I want to lose the weight and be healthy for my family,” he says. “And this time I think, ‘You know what? Do it for yourself.'” He continues, Do it for you. And then the family, they’re a ripple effect.
They’ll be affected.”
On a side note, Erik’s 1-hour documentary, entitled, Confessions of a Reality Star Loser, will air on Discovery Health Channel, Wednesday, January 6, 2010. In addition, The Biggest Loser’s trainer, Bob Harper, has extended a challenge to Erik. He wants him to weigh-in at the finale of Season Nine in May 2009. Erik has accepted the challenge.
The Biggest Difference
The biggest difference I see between the contestant’s that have kept the weight off versus those who have regained much of the weight, is their own discovery of how important it is to keep themselves a priority. Of the examples above, the contestants who have maintained their weight, all made comments regarding doing it for yourself, and not others. Ryan Benson’s comments show that he is feeling guilty about putting the weight back on because he does not like disappointing the viewers. Erik Chopin admits that he had the wrong motivation all along which has contributed to much of his weight gain.
Do it for You!
All of the stories in this issue emphasize the importance of keeping yourself a priority, taking care of yourself, and doing it for you. As promised, here are 10 ways to do just that
- Make a list of your priorities, and include yourself.
- Tell yourself you are worth it!
- Make time for you each day. Even just five minutes of purposeful meditation or alone time can make the difference.
- Share your commitment to yourself with your family. Explain that you feel this will help you be a better ________ (fill in the blank).
- Make a list of what really energizes you and make time to follow through at least one item each day.
- Keep a you journal. Fill it with steps you are doing to take better care of yourself. This way you can look at it and decide if you are doing enough, or are ready to do more.
- Plan your week, complete with me time each day.
- Become a keeper of your time. Make appointments with yourself, for yourself, and if someone or something else in your life needs that time, ask yourself if their time is more important than your time. If it is an emergency, do your best to re-schedule your time, don’t just throw it away.
- Remind yourself daily that you are a priority.
- Celebrate your successes, even if they seem small. Give yourself a pat on the back for a job well done.
Taking care of you first will help you be the best you can be in 2010!
(Note) The “I” in this newsletter refers to the author and editor of The Pulse, Jenny Kerbs. Jenny is currently an active Personal Fitness Coach in Waco, Texas.
- We have all heard many times that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. As we make efforts to put ourselves as a priority to better take care of ourselves, breakfast becomes an essential component in our quest for a healthy lifestyle.
- Jump starts your day. Instead of making coffee your morning go-to choice, recognize that your body needs energy first thing in the morning. That energy comes from a healthy breakfast. After a night’s sleep, you are literally breaking the fast by eating breakfast. Food is energy and eating a healthy breakfast is a perfect way to jump start your day!
- Good opportunity to get in whole grains. Most breakfast items, now a days, contain whole grains. Oatmeal, whole grain, low-sugar cereals are great choices to start off your day with a serving or two of whole grains. Plus, the whole grains add much-needed fiber to our daily diet.
- Good opportunity to get in a serving of fruit. Fruit is very enjoyable at breakfast and seems to be easy for most people to eat in the morning. Add berries to your cereal or oatmeal, or eat a banana if you’re in a hurry. Even fruit juice can contain at least one serving of fruit, provided it is made with 100% juice and not added sugar. Look for brands such as Naked Juice or Odwalla.
- Helps you exercise. Studies show that breakfast eaters are more likely to exercise sometime during their day. This is most likely due to the fact that by eating breakfast, you are putting energy in your system at the start of your day and are less likely to feel fatigued throughout your day, therefore preventing the desire to exercise.
- Keeps you energized through the most active part of your day. Most of us have busy, busy mornings. By eating a healthy breakfast, you can ensure you are providing your body with the nutrients it needs to keep up your energy during a very active part of your day.
- Keeps you focused to increase productivity. After a good night’s sleep, and a nourishing breakfast, the morning may quickly become your most productive time of day.
- Forces you to think about yourself in the morning. By setting aside enough time to make and eat a breakfast every morning, you are forcing yourself to make you a priority in your day.
- Helps with your mood. Eating a healthy breakfast in the morning will help you stay one step ahead of dangerous drops in blood sugar. As our blood sugar drops and we become hungry, our mood may become unpleasant causing us to feel very cranky. A healthy breakfast each morning can help prevent waking up on the wrong side of the bed.
- Sets you up for success for the rest of your day. Studies show that breakfast eaters weigh less and consume less calories throughout the day. This is because eating breakfast helps curb hunger cravings that come from going long spans without food. Start each day with a healthy breakfast, followed by three to four more, small meals throughout the day to prevent hunger and the potential out of control feeling.
- A key piece to a healthy lifestyle. Breakfast is key step in creating a healthy lifestyle for yourself. It not only nourishes your body and mind, but each morning is a feeling of renewal and a chance to make good choices during your day. When you choose to eat a healthy breakfast each day, you are taking one step closer to a healthier you.
By preparing this healthy breakfast the night before, there will be no excuse to ever skip the most important meal of the day again!
Recipe from Eating Well
Active Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 7 to 8 hours (slow-cooker time) – 1 hour 35 minutes (stovetop time)
- 8 cups water
- 2 cups steel-cut oats, (see Ingredient note)
- 1/3 cup dried cranberries
- 1/3 cup dried apricots, chopped
- 1/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste
Combine water, oats, dried cranberries, dried apricots and salt in a 5- or 6-quart slow cooker. Turn heat to LOW. Put the lid on and cook until the oats are tender and the porridge is creamy, 7 to 8 hours. Stove-top Variation Halve the above recipe to accommodate the size of most double boilers: Combine 4 cups water, 1 cup steel-cut oats, 3 tablespoons dried cranberries, 3 tablespoons dried apricots and 1/8 teaspoon salt in the top of a double boiler. Cover and cook over boiling water for about 1 1/2 hours, checking the water level in the bottom of the double boiler from time to time.
Tips & Notes
Ingredient Note: Steel-cut oats, sometimes labeled “Irish oatmeal,” look like small pebbles. They are toasted oat groats the oat kernel that has been removed from the husk that have been cut in 2 or 3 pieces. Do not substitute regular rolled oats, which have a shorter cooking time, in the slow-cooker oatmeal recipe.
Per serving: 193 calories; 3 g fat (0 g sat, 1 g mono); 0 mg cholesterol; 34 g carbohydrates; 6 g protein; 9 g fiber; 77 mg sodium; 195 mg potassium.
Nutrition Bonus: Fiber (36% daily value).
Mary Sciabarra – January
Mary has lived in Tucson for the past 15 years after traveling the world with her husband Joe, who has retired from the Navy. When she’s not working out, Mary enjoys quilting, reading, gardening and volunteering.
Before coming to Body Basics, Mary was using a walker to get around. Because of her hard work, she no longer needs the walker. She is most proud of her step-ups and lunges and continues to work on her overall balance and flexibility.
At Body Basics, Mary most appreciates her trainers total involvement and focus on her individual needs. She has learned to exercise with proper form and feels hopeful about performing even better. She is most excited that she can plan a day’s activity and feel confident that she will be able to complete it all. Her advice to others is to stick to it and work through the difficult times.
Mary, your hard work and diligence is an inspiration to us all. Working with you is always fun!
Phil Korn – February
Meatballs, opera, taking classes at the U of A, these are a few of New York City native, Phil Korn’s favorite things.
Phil began working out at Body Basics in 2005 at the recommendation of fellow exerciser, Florence Jaffe. Phil is most proud of his weight/fat loss. He is on a maintenance program and is working on balance and flexibility. His coach, Kathleen, often cues Phil to draw his navel in for core strength. Phil has been known to quip that if draws his navel in anymore they’ll have to arrest him! We all appreciate his great sense of humor.
Phil’s workouts give him the strength and energy to pursue some of his other interests like walking, traveling and spending time with grandchildren.
Phil continues to workout despite some physical challenges and you can too by following his workout advice, stick with it.
Race for the Cure is a cause that is near and dear to all of us at Body Basics. Breast cancer is, unfortunately, a form of cancer that is so prevalent that most of us know someone who has dealt with it. We support research to rid our planet of this very curable condition and we would love to extend an invitation to those of you who would also like to see the end of breast cancer. Join us to register for our team, Body Basics Crew, and/or to contribute funds through our team’s website that will go directly to Susan G. Komen and the fight to end breast cancer. Those of you who register for our team will receive a “Body Basics Crew 2010” T-Shirt as our way of saying thanks and welcome to the team. You can choose to join us on April 11th for the actual Race for the Cure or just wear your shirt proudly in support of a wonderful cause and as a show of unity towards the
elimination of breast cancer! To register, follow these 6 simple steps:
- Go to www.KomenSAZ.org
- Click on “Race for the Cure” logo
- Click on “Register” or “Donate to a Race Participant”
- Click on “Register Here”
- Click “join a team” and find team name (Our team name is “Body Basics Crew”)
- Fill out all information
To empower people to realize their innate abilities by providing an environment that nurtures, educates, and inspires.
Keep Up the Great Work!
We are very proud of all of you!
Chris, Kathleen, Mike H., Maureen, Mike D., Jenny, Alex, Bri, and Terry