Because waking up is hard to do!

I would like to reward all of you who were able to get up early this morning and workout! Energy = Happiness and getting in some exercise each day is a way to stay happy. Dancing is a form of exercise so if you cannot get out to the gym dance along with this guy who loves The Diet for a Busy Life!

I AM SEXY AND I KNOW IT! Go enjoy your day!

7 Weight Loss Tips For Women

A busy life means you will experience occasional wake up moments when you realize you are not happy with your body. “OMG! I need to lose this belly!” You are again reminded that the mirror can be your enemy and that it has been some time since you have exercised or attempted to diet.

These moments create panic. Your first thought is to go the gym and to begin eating like a rabbit. This works for a time until your hectic lifestyle resumes it’s domination over you. Throughout this fire drill the one muscle you forget to use is the muscle between your ears.

I have told you about diet heuristics and why your mindless decisions affect your ability to lose weight. Read this as it will help. Beyond this, focus on these seven weight loss tips which will help you regain control of your waistline:

Are you eating right? When you open the door to your refrigerator what stands out? I suggest having the following foods always available: apples, strawberries, raspberries and cherries. Also have handy: carrots, peas, celery, sliced bell pepper, and broccoli. Organic cold-cuts and cheeses that offer quick and natural protein are also a good idea. What else are you eating? It is time to take an assessment. You likely want to cut out boxed foods, carb heavy foods and bump up consumption of fiber and protein.

Are you eating enough?  Starving yourself is never smart and this is usually the first thing women do. More importantly than going without food is instead finding balance in what you eat. Food provides you with energy and energy is everything. You never want to feel tired or weak because this is when you begin to surrender to comfort foods. It is better to gorge yourself on natural foods (like I listed above) than to be overly restrictive with your calories. Do what you can to keep your metabolism revved up.

Are your workouts slowing you down? Believe it or not you can overdo it in the gym. I have known some women to jump immediately on the treadmill for five or six days straight. If you cut key nutrients like carbohydrates and then spend an inordinate time performing cardiovascular exercises you can place serious burden on your muscles. Without a balanced approach your efforts will have a negative affect. Your body will become fatigued and take steps to protect itself. You will experience headaches, soreness, and irritability. All of this is bad when you what you really want is to stay active.

Are your diet heuristics taking over? Many people expect exercise to be the great equalizer when it comes to countering what they eat. “I can eat pizza tonight because I worked out this morning.” You can easily go wrong with this attitude. Thirty minutes on the treadmill can burn what 100-200 calories? Two slices of pizza can be 400 calories. The math in this approach doesn’t work. Remember the 80-20 rule of weight loss: diet is 80%, exercise is 20%. I suggest you also take a close look at your decision making when it comes to what you eat. Your diet heuristics (a.k.a. rule of thumb) can be out of whack.

Are you forgetting resistance workouts? Many women are afraid to go near the free weight section of the gym. Intimidation and a lack of understanding mean they stick to cardio workouts (or instructor lead classes). It is time to break free from this fear. Muscles burn calories around the clock. More muscle means more calorie burn. You need to add resistance workouts into the mix. If you are intimidated hire a personal trainer. You are serious about getting back in shape aren’t you?

Are you drinking enough water? Water provides you with energy and occupies space in your stomach.  Keep a jug of water next to you at all times night and day. Frequent trips to the bathroom are not such a bad thing compared to being crabby, tired and thirsty. Trust me, you want to be drinking lots of water.

Are you making excuses? Is it really the first time you caught yourself in the mirror disgusted with your body? Chances are it is not. Begin by writing down all of the excuses you have made and take a serious look at them. Is it a lack of time? OK, you need to read The Diet for a Busy Life to learn to fit diet and exercise into your busy schedule. Is it a current injury? Time to see a doctor and get things fixed. Is it a lack of energy? You need to begin using your brain first before your muscles. Life is too short to be making excuses for yourself. Get going!

For more tips and tricks read: The Diet for a Busy Life by Phillip Gerard.

Three habits that destroy your chances of losing weight

Bad habit #1) Finishing everything on your plate

“Oh thats nice…” My friend said to me suddenly distracted by the arrival of his dinner. Our conversation became quickly one sided once the waiter arrived. My friend was no longer listening to me and was busy attaching a vacuum cleaner to his face. I watched in awe (and in disgust) as he then inhaled everything on his plate. He chewed as if the world was about to end in the next 30 seconds. Food was flying everywhere. It was gross.

Breaking the habit: My friend became a mindless eating machine. He surrendered entirely to his stomach. I have two suggestions for him: think several, small meals throughout the day and have a game plan in mind before the food comes out. Once a plate arrives under your nose your inner battle for control must already be decided. The stomach and tastebuds cannot win so easily every single time. Think about what you are going to do before the food arrives. Tell yourself you will not eat everything and for everyone’s sanity try to eat slower!

Bad Habit #2) Staying up late and watching television

“I, I, I love you.” The actress says with a small, wry smile. Everyone knows she is full of bull. “Come on man don’t fall for this!” I yell back at the television. The actor on the screen appears starry eyed “I love you too.” He looks fatally lost in her eyes. The actress responds “Kiss me you fool!” As they kiss I throw down the remote control. “You are a fool! Don’t you know what she is up to? She loves Craig not you!” I shut the TV down in disgust muttering aloud how a blonde, bombshell heiress and a pizza delivery guy will never work out. I then find myself in my quiet living room. It is late, I have to get up early and I realize I lost several hours of my life and having nothing to show for it. “I wish I never turned on this stupid TV!”

Breaking the habit: This is a tough one. People all have their favorite shows and the networks do a good job of roping you in like a mindless zombie. My suggestion to break this habit is incredibly easy. Simply do not turn on the television. Unplug the damn thing. You will thank me later. Try to do it for one night a week and then add a another night. Can you go a week without watching TV? Consider yourself challenged. Think about it. The stuff on television really is garbage and designed to blast you with commercials anyway. You are getting suckered in and who wants to be a sucker?

Bad Habit #3) Lazy eating

Fred woke up groggy. He had been up all night watching television (duh!). He opened the refrigerator door to find something for breakfast. He saw some healthy fruits, eggs, leftovers but he quickly grabbed the milk knowing all along what he was going to eat anyway. He then pulled out some cereal from the cupboard and made himself a bowl. At work, lunchtime came along and he went to the deli with some coworkers. He  eyeballed the fresh salads but he knew what he wanted from the beginning “One super hoagie” he told the clerk. At dinner, his tired mind instinctively began to boil water. Pasta can be so easy to make. His day was a long, sleepy blur.

Breaking the habit: Processed foods such as cereals, calorie laden foods such as hoagies and carb heavy pastas will quickly add pounds to your waistline. The problem is these foods are quick, easy, tasty and typically arrive under your nose in portions that are way too big. Couple this with mindless eating and you are setup for a disaster. The trick is to train your mind to stick to all natural, healthy foods. Get rid of all the cereals and pastas in your house and pre-prepare fruits and vegetables so they are easier to eat than potato chips. I also suggest waking up earlier so you have more time to plan your day. Realize that the processed foods you eat are affecting your energy levels. A lack of energy means poor decision making and so the vicious cycle continues. You need to break this cycle.

For more tips and tricks read: The Diet for a Busy Life by Phillip Gerard.

Workplace stress and what you can do about it

Stress is the number one killer of energy and happiness and I believe it is the number one reason why people carry a few extra pounds. Personally, I devote too much energy towards workplace stress, and I let it get to me far too much. I have a jerk-off for a boss, a bunch of clueless co-workers, and an angry group of customers I deal with each and every day. I am basically in workplace hell. Does this sound familiar to you?

First and foremost stress deserves attention. Stress is a survival technique and so exists for a purpose. In our day and age workplace stress is usually a big factor in our overall happiness. Our jobs are too important to us and because of this importance we safe guard it. Stress is a sign that what we hold dear is under attack. Whether we are overreacting or not is a different story.

Workplace stress will always be there and the severity of which is not always in your control. A new issue pops up and your boss turns into a lunatic and by translation turns you into one as well. Your first step is to have a pre-built response technique that will allow you to weather the first bouts of the storm. You need to have some mechanism to remain calm. What is your knee jerk reaction to an issue? I suggest the following steps:

1) Go into listen mode. When emotions run high the best thing to do is bite your tongue. No smart decisions are ever made while in an emotional state. By showing that you are listening the stressed people around you may calm down.

2) Think surrender versus offense. Immediately going on the offense is akin to going nuclear. You cannot pull back the missiles once you have launched them. It is always better to quietly weather the storm even if you know you are in the right. Keep in mind there are always two sides to every issue. By going into surrender mode you are taking steps to diffuse the issue versus ignite it.

3) Make sure you understand the issue. More often than not stress is caused by some form of miscommunication. Say to yourself “Perhaps he/she just doesn’t understand…” Take the time to understand as much as you can. Ask questions that are simple to answer and try not to let the barbed questions get out.

4) Don’t try to immediately solve the problem. Chances are the issue is much more complex and not likely to be solved with a snap of the finger. By oversimplifying the issue the stress may be reflected backwards onto your co-workers and will eventually come back to bite you.

Once you survive the initial bout of stress you need to fall back on the basics to survive the ensuing chaos.

  • Ask yourself if your are overreacting. Often times things like e-mails can be misinterpreted. Is this even an issue?
  • Tell yourself you have this job for a reason. You are good at it and uniquely qualified for it. Remind yourself of the value you bring to the company. Your primary responsibility is always to make sure your boss AND your peers understand the value that you bring to the organization.
  • Stress is a part of every job. You should expect it. Stress can also be cyclical and certain parts of the year more stressful than others. Life isn’t always roses and therefore you need to devote some of your energy to handling stress. Being unprepared is not an excuse.
  • Finally, we all make mistakes. Yes, you could be flat out dead wrong. It happens. Trying to understand all of the ramifications of this will make you even more stressed. Begin to talk about solutions quickly versus dwelling on the past. Let it go.

Recognize that there will always be some form of workplace stress and to improve the quality of your life you should expend some energy on preparing for it. If you cannot get past the stress despite all of your efforts then chances are something much bigger is at play. Perhaps your attitude and your employer simply don’t jive? Life is too short and may be time to move on. Change can be good.