Mind

Stop Procrastinating for a Healthier You

Every day we have choices we make, whether conscious or unconscious.

Sometimes the most impactful choices we make, for better or worse, are the ones in which we choose to do nothing at all.

Many health problems we deal with in our lives, whether they be from unhealthy diets, lack of exercise, start with simple procrastination,

Most of us put off the hard things or things we don’t want to do until tomorrow, then tomorrow never comes because we grow accustomed to the idea that things should be easier than they are.

Today, any progress is made by yesterday’s efforts – no matter how big or small. The way we make continuous, positive, healthy changes, comes down to creating new habits and practicing self-discipline and taking action in the moment, even when it feels challenging.

We can choose to live a healthy lifestyle or we can choose to live a sedentary one.  When we wait or make excuses to get up and move, we essentially making a choice to embrace sedentary habits that are truly destructive to our health.

Your body and mind both need to be exercised to gain strength, flexibility, and balance. They both need to be worked consistently to grow, become healthier, and stronger over time. But the secret to creating a healthier lifestyle is to stop procrastinating and have a “do now” mindset.

You can accomplish many great things today, that don’t need to wait until tomorrow.  Getting started requires doing the smallest things.  Jump up and do 25 squats. Run up and down the stairs three times.  When you take positive action in these small ways you are plantings those seeds of discipline, exercise, and healthy eating that will continue to take root and blossom. What you plant today will harvest tomorrow.

Changing habits and learning to do things today that you typically put off is going to be challenging When you’re struggling to make progress, try not to overthink things..  That’s why Nike’s “Just do it” slogan is truly brilliant.  Making a deliberate decision to love yourself enough to make your health a priority can empower you in a way that builds strength and conviction you’ve never had before.

It’s not realistic to think you can change your entire lifestyle and eating habits all at once.  But if you take small but significant steps – one at a time, every day suddenly you realize you’ve become a new version of you. Push yourself out of your comfort zone and decide on one thing you need to improve on. Do you have a soda habit? Tell yourself you can have one a week, then over time, cut that to every other week, then monthly, and so on.  You will find that eventually, you don’t even crave it anymore.  Do you need to move your body more? Start with moderate or light exercise. Maybe you will walk around the block this week, then next week you will walk 2 blocks. Every small positive change will add up to significant changes.

I challenge you each day to take action in the moment before you talk yourself out of it. Over time you’ll be looking in the mirror at a whole new you!

 

1

A Positive View Of Life Is Good for Your Health

Your outlook on your life – having a sense of optimism and purpose can make you healthier.

Do you focus on the good things in your life, upcoming events, and things that make you smile? Do you have a sense of purpose? If so, you may already have done a lot of positive things for your health.

Here are some quick tips on having a positive outlook:

Focus on what is important. Life experiences teach us what is important and what we shouldn’t focus on. As we get older, we become better at deciding what issues that demand our attention from those that may just be trivial or unimportant. The next time you worry about something you can’t control, it may help to view the situation through the perspective of your entire life’s experience.

Keep a sense of purpose. View your life and every day that you wake up as an opportunity to live your best you! You can learn a new hobby, start a new exercise routine, learn to cook, or begin volunteering. Do things that cause you to learn and expand your horizons.

Practice mindfulness. Start focusing on the moment and accepting your thoughts and feelings without judging yourself. When you learn to accept that you aren’t perfect (none of us are), and accept that there will be difficult days and easy days, your mind and your body will both benefit from the unnecessary stress.

Love yourself. If there is one person you will be with your entire life, it’s you. You are a continuous work in progress and you need to be easy on yourself. In the same breath, you need to push yourself to learn more, do more, and live more. Everything is about balance.

What are some of the things you do to maintain a healthy outlook on life? Please comment below.

 

 

1

New Year, New You

Are you excited for a new year and new you?

New Years resolutions don’t have to be about losing weight.|

You can also incorporate other healthy resolutions into your 2018 plans.  Researchers have found that people who deliberately balance all areas of their lives also have better health!

Of course, if losing weight is important to your health, you should incorporate weight loss goals into your 2018 plan of action. But make sure you round out your physical fitness goals with some life-balancing commitments that will make you feel more wholeness and happiness.

Here is a list of healthy resolutions for you to vow to do this year.

  • Prioritize sleep. If you have trouble sleeping seven to eight hours, look into non-drug therapies. There are fabulous mind-rebooting technologies, like NuCalm that can help train your brain for better sleep.
  • Reduce your sugar intake. Cut back on sodas and high sugar fruit juices. Start reading labels and if you see the ingredient “high fructcose corn syrup” try to find an alternative product. Eat whole fruits and fruit smoothies with the entire fruit to get the benefit of the sugar balancing fibers.
  • Go on a trip. Planning a vacation increases happiness and who doesn’t want to adventure around a new city, sandy white beach, or explore a new destination? Exploring the world also can help you appreciate what you have at home!
  • Read more. Give your brain some mental exercise and escape into a good book. It’s another great way to explore the world without leaving home.
  • Give up soda and diet soda. Yes, your diet soda may have “zero calories” however, the ingredients in diet sodas can hurt your health and they don’t aid in losing weight. Opt for sparkling water with flavored stevia. Try root beer flavored stevia!
  • Practice gratitude. Find things throughout your day that you are grateful for. When you appreciate the things you have and the things around you, it will improve your mental well-being.
  • Volunteer and donate your time to people in need. Not only does it feel good to be kind and help others, it also benefits receiver by putting your own problems into perspective.
  • Forgive someone. Holding onto anger and resentment is poison to your soul. Life’s too short to live in the past. Move on. Everyone is doing the best they can from their own state of consciousness.
  • Wear sunscreen. Your skin will thank you as you age.
  • Love yourself. If there is one person who is guaranteed to be in your life from your date of birth to the end . . . it is you. Learn to forgive, love, and be yourself.

I hope these resolutions will help you in 2018!

To your healthiest year yet!

Have a Skinny Life year!

Crystal

How to Relieve Stress

Feeling stressed?

Relaxation techniques are an incredible way to help reduce and manage stress. Relaxation isn’t just about peace of mind, breathing everything out, doing yoga, and just letting it go. Relaxation is a process that decreases the effects of stress on your mind and body. Relaxation techniques can help you cope with everyday stress and with stress related to various health problems, such as cancer and pain.

When faced with a busy work schedule, trying to maintain work/life balance, chores, and just life in general, practicing relaxation techniques can reduce stress symptoms by:

  • Slowing your heart rate
  • Easing stress leavels
  • Lowering blood pressure
  • Slowing your breathing rate
  • Increasing energy levels
  • Reducing activity of stress hormones
  • Increasing blood flow to major muscles
  • Reducing muscle tension and chronic pain
  • Improving concentration and mood
  • Lowering fatigue
  • Reducing anger and frustration
  • Boosting confidence to handle problems

Here are a few relaxation techniques to help you relieve stress:

  • Deep breathing
  • Spending time with positive people
  • Laughing
  • Time management
  • Exercising
  • Getting enough sleep
  • Spending time with family and friends
  • Hypnosis
  • Massage
  • Meditation
  • Yoga
  • Music
  • Hobbies you enjoy

As you learn relaxation techniques, you’ll become more aware of muscle tension and other effects of stress. Once you know what the stress response feels like, you can make a conscious and prepared effort to practice a relaxation technique the moment you start to feel stress symptoms.

 Relaxation techniques are skills. As with any skill, your ability to relax improves with practice. Be patient with yourself.
You, Yoga, and Your Fitness

If you haven’t actually participated yet, you’ve probably heard or seen something about Yoga as it’s popularity in Western culture has skyrocketed in recent years.  I thought it would be fun to talk a little about the origins of yoga and why it might enhance your health and fitness regime.  Yoga is an ancient practice with origins beginning back thousands of years. It is designed to help with focus, peace, and serenity. The word ‘yoga’ itself means ‘union’ and ‘union of the mind, body, and spirit.  Of the many choices available, there are those that focus on the athleticism with extremely fit people putting their legs behind their heads and curling up into awkward and difficult positions. There are also those which focus mostly on breathing and relaxation, and there is also everything in between those extremes.

Yoga has much more to offer than flexibility and the idea of obtaining a strong body. People of all shapes, sizes, ages and abilities can do yoga and adapt it to suit their individual tastes and needs – and this is one of the reasons why so many people (including myself) LOVE yoga!

If you think yoga isn’t for you, maybe it’s time to reconsider.

Here are several reasons why you should start doing yoga as soon as possible!

1. It’s an incredible workout for your mind, body, and soul.

Yoga is a fantastic workout for your body. You can adapt the practices to your own speed and level of comfort. No matter which yoga exercises you choose, the practices will always be part of a great workout routine.

2. Get in touch with your body.

Yoga stretches and exercises are designed around the idea of moving your body to increase its strength, flexibility, and durability. Doing yoga on a regular basis will get you more in tune with your body and know when something is really working and when it isn’t.

3. Improve your breathing technique.

Key to yoga practice are the breathing exercises which are incorporated into positions as well as on their own. The exercises encourage a focused and centered way of breathing, and eventually you’ll subconsciously learn to breath more deeply throughout the day.   These deliberate breathing techniques are a wonderful  stress-management tool and generally make you feel much better.

4. Improve your sleep.

Another benefit is that doing yoga can actually help you get better sleep.  You might even consider doing an after-work class since studies have shown that doing some light physical activity before our heads hit the hay can help us get off to sleep more quickly, which usually leads to a much better quality of sleep.

5. Improve your posture.

Yoga is effective at helping you develop proper posture, since a lot of the breathing and seated positions require a straight back for proper effect. Good posture is definitely going to develop during yoga practice.

6. Improve both physical and mental strength.

Yoga can also help you develop amazing mental and physical strength. The point of yoga is total body/mind awareness which can help you become more focused and present in your relationships and work.  The physical investment in the stretches and positions ensures that you’ll experience plenty of physical strength benefits as a result.

The breathing exercises can improve your lung capacity, and lunges and stretches can increase your core strength as well as every muscle you can think of. Yoga exercises force you to focus on the moment.

7. Yoga can enhance your meditation practice.

Meditation could be defined as focused awareness or reflection. The purpose of yoga isn’t necessarily to achieve every complicated pose under the sun, but to do your yoga practice with focus and thought.  When you apply this type of focused awareness in your yoga practice, it can become an opportunity to meditate on deeper things like spiritual principles that are meaningful to you.

Yoga can truly improve the  quality of your life by allowing time for  your mind, in union with your body, to process the complexities of life.

The practice make you feel less scattered, more focused, and even more aware of the positive events and feelings you might otherwise miss when your life gets too chaotic.

Incorporating yoga into your daily life is a great investment in yourself – you will be grateful you did.

To your best health and fitness . . .

Have a great skinny day!

Combatting Depression with Nutrition

Feeling down? Extremely down and wondering if you have depression?

Before making an appointment with your psychiatrist, you might want to consider to get lab work done under your regular doctor’s supervision and have your nutrition levels tested.  There are a wide variety of essential amino acids (healthy proteins) and essential fatty acids (healthy fats) that can create a much healthier chemical and physiological environment for your optimal emotional and psychological functioning.  Ultimately you and your doctor can determine the need for deeper medical or psychological evaluation but you may find that getting nutrition levels checked and addressing any deficiencies that could be the answer to achieving balanced emotional and  mental well being.

For optimal physical and mental health, make certain you are getting enough of the following in your diet:

Vitamin D
Are you getting enough Vitamin D? A lack of vitamin d has been linked to autism, dementia, and depression. Most people get less vitamin d during the winter months because sunlight is our greatest resource.  If sunshine is seasonally rare, vitamin D supplements are inexpensive and effective.

Omega-3’s

Omega-3 Fatty Acids help with memory and mood. In order to have optimal levels of Omega-3’s, eat plenty of salmon, tuna, halibut, flaxseeds, and walnuts. The nutrients help reduce inflammation and assist with brain function.

Vitamin B 

Studies show vitamin B-12 and vitamin B-6 provide incredible health benefits, including healthy skin and nails, reducing stroke, and aiding with mental health. Your best sources for getting more Vitamin B in your diet are bananas, leafy greens, seafood, lean poultry, eggs, and clams.

Magnesium
Chances are you have a magnesium deficient diet, because many Americans do. Excess salt, coffee, sugar, alcohol, phosphoric acid (in soda), stress, and diuretics, all contribute to lower levels of magnesium. Magnesium is often referred to as a stress antidote, “the most powerful relaxation mineral that exists.” You can find magnesium in beans, greens, and seaweed.  You can also find some very absorbable types of magnesium in supplement form.

Amino Acids

Amino acids help our brains function properly – they are the building blocks of protein. When you have an amino acid deficiency, you may feel sluggish, unfocused, and depressed. Eat beef, fish, eggs, beans, nuts, and seeds for a healthier brain.

Zinc
Zinc is crucial to our bodies for many reasons. It activates our digestive enzymes which help us to break down our food and helps to prevent allergies (which helps with depression in some people because some of our moods can be triggered by food allergies). Zinc helps our DNA to repair and produce protein, and controls inflammation and boosts our immune systems. Foods high in zinc are grass fed beef, yogurt, lamb, chickpeas, cashews, pumpkin seeds, cocoa powder, mushrooms, chicken, and spinach.

Iodine
Your thyroid needs iodine to work properly. Your thyroid affects more than you think, including your energy, metabolism, body temperature, immune system growth, and mental performance (concentration, memory, and more). When you aren’t getting enough iodine, you can begin to feel depressed. To enrich your diet with more iodine, eat shrimp, cod, seaweed and iodine enriched salt.

Iron
Iron deficiencies are quite common in women. The most common form of anemia which is an insufficient number of bloods cells, is caused by low iron levels. You may find you have depression, fatigue, brain fog, and irritability. To increase your iron, include red meat, poultry, liver, and fish, in your daily diet.

Depression is overwhelming and is a serious condition. Make sure you are eating right and getting the proper medical care you need to help combat it.

To your greatest mental and physical health,

Crystal

Small Changes to Improve Your Health

Sometimes the biggest changes we make start with small, subtle, shifts.

You don’t have to turn vegan, sign up for a boot camp, or do something that is radically different to make positive, healthy, changes.

Here are a few simple things you can do that will help you improve your health – and possibly barely notice the changes you are making!

  • Clean your fridge and give it a makeover! Stop hiding fruits and vegetables in drawers where you can’t see them. Instead, put them in clear containers, pre-wash them, and place them at eye level. When you feel the need to snack, you will find yourself looking at healthy, delicious, food choices. You will unconsciously make healthier decisions.

  • Breathe in, breathe out. Pay attention to your breathing throughout your day. Are you taking deep breaths? Taking deep breaths can be calming to your nerves.

  • Instead of going to a drive-thru on your lunch break, take a quick brisk walk. Your body shape will start to change, your legs will become more toned, and you will feel more energetic the last half of your workday. Plus going outside clears the mind and increases creativity.

  • Pick up some weights! You don’t have to bench press your weight to be healthy! Weight lifting will make you lean and if you’re a woman and weight lifting, don’t worry about bulking up too much . . . our hormones aren’t designed to make us bulk up as easy as it is for our male counterparts. Keep a couple of manageable sizes tucked under your desk or hidden next to the sofa.  Get in 10 reps at every commercial break!

  • Journal what you are eating! There are several apps you can use if you don’t want to physically write it down, to track the quality of foods you’re eating and how much exercise you are getting. Find one and use it. You may be surprised just how many calories you really are eating daily.

  • Tame your sweet tooth when you start craving dessert, cookies, or other high sugar, high calorie foods. When your sweet tooth goes into overdrive, grab a handful of raspberries or a small piece of dark chocolate instead.

  • Replace your morning coffee or soda with water. Think you need that caffeine boost to get you going? You don’t. Water will get your metabolism going and give you a wake up, leaving you feeling refreshed and energized.

  • Eat a lighter breakfast – put down the bagels and white starchy carbs and opt instead for fruit, oatmeal, yogurt, or boiled eggs. You’ll soon notice you aren’t feeling that mid-morning slump.

  • If you don’t like going to the gym and working out in front of others, find a workout that you can do at home or outdoors. Walking, gardening, swimming — there are so many options for you if you just want to exercise alone.

  • Wash your hands frequently to help control illness — both your own and the possibility of spreading it to others.

  • Get enough sleep and try to get the same amount of sleep every night so your body gets into a healthy rhythm.

  • Stretch your body and you will start to feel less achy throughout the day.
New Year Resolutions to a New YOU!

Here we are again, at the start of a brand new journey around the sun.  The new year doesn’t just bring us a new calendar, it also brings with it a great opportunity to begin again, start fresh, and try to improve on the years past.   Most of us think in terms of what we’ll do differently, goals we’ll set, things we’ll try to accomplish.

What I like to encourage my clients to do is to use this opportunity to not just do different but to be different.  If you’ve read Skinny Life, The Secret to Physical, Emotional, and Spiritual Fitness, you’re familiar with the Skinny Life concept of creating a new identity to get what you want with your fitness goals.   At Skinny Life we start with the concept of changing on the inside before you can change anything on the outside.  As I always remind everyone, you’ll never have a “skinny” body until you have a “skinny” mind.    That’s the real skinny…the bottom–line truth!

At Skinny Life becoming fit and slim is not about being a particular size and shape, it is about becoming the best and healthiest version of you!   We were each created from a unique mold, so it’s about realizing the goal isn’t to look like someone else, its about discovering the best version of you– from the inside out.

When we focus on who we’ll be first, rather than what we’ll do, the results are remarkably different and the successes greater and longer lasting.  So how DO we become that fit, slim person inside?  The person who naturally honors their body, makes the right eating decisions, and integrates healthy movement and exercise into their lives?

Here are some tips that will bring you more lasting success and results:

  • Spend 5 minutes minimum each morning and before you go to bed each night in a quiet closed-eye state saying these three things: “I love that I’m becoming the best and healthiest version of myself.  I love that it’s becoming easier and easier each day for me.  I love that everyone around me is okay with my best health and fitness, and that I could inspire others to do the same.”
  • Focus on what to do more than what not to do. Pick 3 positive things you’ll do each day that reflect the new, fit, healthy version of you.  Things like:
    1. Ordering a lettuce wrapped burger with a side salad instead of fries.
    2. Leave 15 minutes early and your kids to school rather than driving.
    3. Picking different colors and varieties of fruits and vegetables to eat each day and noticing the beautiful varieties.

As you go through each day and the choices become easier, start adding more until pretty soon you’re doing what fit people naturally do!

  • Reject any negative self-talk. If you hear those old voices creep up telling you this is useless, you’ll never get it right, notice those thoughts immediately and realize they’re old recordings you need to stop playing in your mind.  Imagine you’re changing the channel and immediately affirm yourself and any positive change you’ve made, small or large.

Remember always, this is a journey, not a race to a finish line.  It is you living your life better and better each and every day.  The important thing is to never give up on yourself.  If you slip and fall one day, get right back up.  Remind yourself who you are as the new, fit, slim you and move forward again in a positive direction.

Wishing you the happiest new year—celebrating the new version of YOU!

Have a great Skinny Life Day!

Crystal

Snoozing — It’s Good for Your Health

If you want to live a healthier life, you have to stop ignoring your sleep.

Getting enough zzzzzzzzz’s a crucial part of a healthy lifestyle and benefits your mind, weight, heart, and more.
Not only does it make you feel better it also boosts your mood and lightens those dark under eye circles.

Here are some reasons why you should make getting enough sleep a part of your daily routine:

  • Your mind needs to rest. Think about how many things cross your mind throughout your day — it’s amazing how much our brains do and “think” through the course of an average day. Give it a little and must deserved break!
  • Trying to lose weight? Researchers have found that people who are well rested lose more fat than those who are sleep deprived, who lose more muscle mass.
  • If you find that you have a short attention span, it could be that you aren’t getting enough sleep. Sleep causes electrical change in our brains, so when we don’t get enough, we may find it difficult to be inattentive, more impulsive, and unable to focus on tasks for long periods of time.
  • Research has shown that people who get less than 6 hours of sleep a night have higher blood levels of inflammatory proteins than those who get more sleep. Studies have also shown that people who get fewer than 6 hours of sleep per night increase their risk for heart attack.
  • Did you know that too little sleep has been associated with a shorter lifespan? Make sure you are getting at least 6-8 hours of sleep per night to improve the quality of “awake time” in your day.
  • Working out? Getting enough sleep can improve your workout and performance. You will feel less sluggish and have less fatigue — increasing your stamina!
  • Sleeping well also helps you to avoid irritability which can be a factor in depression. A night of good rest can help your mood and emotional health.

And one more tip for a healthy night’s rest:

Put down your cell phone when you lay in bed and actually get some good shut eye.

Happy zzzzzzzz’ing!

Change Your Self Talk – Change Your Life

Did you know it is possible to change your health and life with the words you say both silently and out loud?

A healthy mindset and healthy self-communication can make a huge change in how we behave.

So what are some things you can stop and start saying to yourself?

  • You don’t “earn dessert” (or pizza, or cheeseburgers, or a bag of potato chips). When we use food as a reward system and we tell ourselves we have earned a food we should be limiting or not eating very much of, we are teaching ourselves that food isn’t energy for our bodies. That is all food is — it’s energy and shouldn’t be used for punishment or rewards.
  • Stop telling yourself you will catch up on your sleep. You won’t. Your body needs to have adequate sleep every day, not just on the weekends. If you want your mind and body to work at full capacity you need to give it the rest that it deserves. Besides, getting enough sleep helps your heart, brain, weight, and help to prevent diabetes.
  • Did you set a resolution not to eat a specific food? Maybe you told yourself you won’t eat any french fries or drink soda. You find yourself confronting your favorite food that you promised to steer clear of and find yourself thinking “just this one time.” At this point it’s not about the food at all. You’re going to feel guilty after eating it and lose your confidence. You’re going to tell yourself you can’t stick to anything and start looking at yourself as a failure. So set yourself up for success. Instead of saying you won’t eat a particular food ever again, tell yourself that once a week, or a few times a month you can indulge in your favorite cheat food. Set yourself up to win — it’s healthy for your psyche and your body.
  • You won’t be happier when you lose 25, 50, or 100 pounds. Your happiness shouldn’t be measured by a number on a scale and neither should your self esteem and self worth. Do things NOW that make you feel happy, strong, and energized. Live in the moment . . . now. Yes, you will feel more energetic and more confident when you are healthier — but using weight as a means to live your life and control your happiness — it isn’t fair to who you are right now.
  • Instead of making excuses why you don’t have time to exercise, find ways to move your body. Walk during your lunch break, start doing yoga, life weights, do something — anything — to get your heart rate revved and your body burning calories.
  • You’re not on a diet. Instead, tell yourself you’re making healthier choices. The word diet alone conjures up feelings of deprivation and you don’t need to deprive yourself. You just need to make small, healthier, choices.

If you have some ideas you would like to share with us, feel free to comment below and share with our readers!