Make Your Someday Today Podcast : Reach Your Goal Weight and Become the Person You Deserve
Summary: Each short show focuses on a single piece of the weight loss puzzle. The show is all about achieving your goal weight and living the life you want, of being the person you deserve to be. These tips, trick and secret life hacks are all common sense advice, and exactly what I am doing to reach my goal weight. I am a Registered Nurse, with cardiac and emergency nursing experience. I use that background to help me find different actions that will bring me the desired results.
So, backyard chickens alone won’t disrupt a weight loss plan. But if you decide to get backyard chickens, and then other life events strike (and nothing that is considered a “strike” is usually good) then the combination can roll into a mess. That’s what happened to me. I received three new chickens in April. Coop and run construction took me six weeks instead of a few days. “Generalized work stressors” for all employees of our facility began in April with monthly lists of job eliminations. At the end of June, we found out that our 12-year-old pug was terminally illness for your beloved dog. Lastly, then the “generalized work stressor” became a personal job elimination. All of that began in mid-April and is still continuing (as the job search is ongoing.) All of those emotional drains reduced my ability to continually make good eating choices. All my weight loss progress that I made between February 2018 and now was reversed. And a relatively large part of me doesn’t really care. There simply are too many demands on my mental and emotional reserves. And I know it’s happened to you at some point, too. So, how to break the cycle? More of that in the next episode! Here are a few pictures of the coops and chickens. Here is a link to my YouTube page with more chicken-related videos. All photos are my personal photos, and cannot be used without permission. _________________________ Music composed and performed by Jason Shaw, courtesy of Audionautix.com Voiceover courtesy of Matt Young. Matt is a professional voiceover artist. If you have any need of voice-over work, for your podcast, radio spot, or whatever, you can reach Matt by a variety of methods. He is on LinkedIn. On Twitter. And Google+. Follow his Facebook page to learn how to better use social media. Matt was also my guest on MYST 54. Give his story a listen!
People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing – that’s why we recommend it daily. Zig Ziglar Photos via Pixabay by Alexas_Fotos _________________________ Music composed and performed by Jason Shaw, courtesy of Audionautix.com Voiceover courtesy of Matt Young. Matt is a professional voiceover artist. If you have any need of voice-over work, for your podcast, radio spot, or whatever, you can reach Matt by a variety of methods. He is on LinkedIn. On Twitter. And Google+. Follow his Facebook page to learn how to better use social media. Matt was also my guest on MYST 54. Give his story a listen! All images are Creative Common Zero.
There are tens of thousands of books on weight loss. Maybe hundreds of thousands. All of them are correct. And all are wrong. See, here is the thing. Those books are written by experts. They know exactly what you need to do to have weight loss success. And every authors says “This is the best way!” They are all correct. None of those authors are being deliberately misleading. But at the same time, they are not totally truthful. Every book describes a way to successfully lose weight. That means all of them are potential successful methods that you can use. All of them. So, which one do you choose? You need to ask the expert. And in this case, the expert is YOU. Which method of weight loss looks like something you want to try? Don’t pick a method that you know from day one that you cannot follow to completion. For me, the idea of P90X is simply not an option. Likewise, I have no interest in trying a Keto diet? Am I saying P90X and Keto won’t work? Of course not. I know they work. It’s just that I know I won’t be able to (or want to) follow them fully, and therefore it would be a waste of time. It would be a waste of time for me. Maybe it would be perfect for you. I don’t know. (And neither do all those authors.) Ultimately, the successful plan will be the one that you start, and never quit. And only you know which plan that will be. Go ahead. Read all those books. Check out blogs. Watch Dr. Oz. But in the end, the final decision is yours. Find a plan that looks like you will enjoy it. Follow it. If it doesn’t work, try something else. You are in control of your success. That can be empowering and at the same time it can be demotivating. If your choice brings success, you will be your own hero. If your choice does not work…well, then it’s back to the drawing board. Start now. And as long as it works, never quit! MYST 165 (http://makeyoursomedaytoday.com/losefast) MYST 166 (http://makeyoursomedaytoday.com/OneStep) Photos via Pixabay by Geralt _________________________ Music composed and performed by Jason Shaw, courtesy of Audionautix.com Voiceover courtesy of Matt Young. Matt is a professional voiceover artist. If you have any need of voice-over work, for your podcast, radio spot, or whatever, you can reach Matt by a variety of methods. He is on LinkedIn. On Twitter. And Google+. Follow his Facebook page to learn how to better use social media. Matt was also my guest on MYST 54. Give his story a listen! All images are Creative Common Zero.
Lawn Care, Ego, and Habits The Wisconsin seasons are beautiful and messy, wonderful and terrible. (If you didn’t know, Wisconsin has weather that can change rapidly.) But the weather can also be used in weight loss. Winter snows bring Fitbit Adjustments, especially if you have a moderate-sized driveway and a sidewalk to clear. Spring brings yard cleanup and then summer mowing season starts. Your Fitbit will record many steps as you mow, fertilize and rake your lawn. When autumn arrives the falling leaves add to your “lawn care workout”. Or maybe you need to chop wood for the winter. It is a never-ending routine. And that’s okay (because I enjoy it.) Lawn work is not always easy but it is relaxing, and it generates a fair amount of exercise. My Fitbit will easily record enough activity in an afternoon to earn a 400-600 calories Fitbit Adjustment. I enjoy seeing those adjustments. And my LoseIt friends frequently comment on my nice Fitbit Adjustments. But I really don’t worry about these adjustments. I don’t eat those calories, and won’t until I finally reach my goal weight. So why do I bother wearing a Fitbit? People have asked me how I keep my motivation. I don’t keep it. It keeps me. Motivation is my “why”. That never goes away. My “why” never leaves me. I want to be comfortable walking. I want to be able to ride a roller coaster. I want to buy clothes that are not in the “Big and Tall” department. I want to have my asthma and blood pressure and heartburn under control. I have achieved some of those “wants”. But weight loss is different than most goals. Let’s say your goal is to climb Mount Everest. After you reach the summit and then descend back to your base camp, you are done. You accomplished your goal. No matter what you do, that experience cannot be taken away from you. But weight loss is a goal that can be achieved and then lost. And losing it is stupidly easy. All it takes is to become lazy. In my case, I stopped measuring my food (“I know my portion sizes”) and to stop standing on the scale every day. That’s all it took for me to give up that hard-won goal. So, here is the real question: if a person’s motivation never goes away, why is failure so common? Many people rely on other people to inspire them. I talk about that in MYST episode 91 where many people need cheerleaders to help them make progress. And there is nothing inherently bad with cheerleaders. It’s is exciting to have someone on the sidelines of your life, helping you maintain your focus and excitement. The problem is what happens when the cheerleaders go home, and you are still on the field, fighting for that winning score? Science fiction author Octavia Butler (1947-2006) wrote an essay about how to become a successful author, and her quote applies to weight loss as well as writing: “First forget inspiration. Habit is more dependable. Habit will sustain you whether you’re inspired or not. Habit is persistence in practice.” Habit is persistence in practice. That is how you find success after the cheerleaders in your life are gone. If you don’t have reliable habits built into your daily life, maintaining success after achieving it will be very difficult. And in fact, if you don’t use good habits, you will join the vast majority of weight-loss winners as they regain what they worked so hard to lose. Right now, earning a daily Fitbit Adjustment is simply a matter of ego. I’ve worn a Fitbit since July 12, 2011. It is a daily habit. Developing good habits–such as measuring my food, logging everything I eat and wearing my FitbitR...
Bathroom scales. We love them. And we hate them. But mostly we hate them. I mean, think about it. When you see a weight drop, you think to yourself “Well, finally!” as if the scale had been cheating you recently but not showing a loss. When you see a weight gain—and we all see gains, unless you never step on your scale—you immediately think “You LIE!” When was the last time you saw a number on the scale and thought “Yeah, the scale loves me”? No, they don’t love us. Or hate us. They simply weigh us. They give us a number that is accurate—for that moment only. When you next eat, drink or use the bathroom, that number will change. But let’s assume the worst. Let’s assume the scale went up. What are you going to do? There are three options, based on the underlying cause. What’s the first option? How about this: Do nothing. That’s right. Do nothing. We all know—or we should, by now—about the saw-tooth weight loss patterns. Weight gains for no apparent cause, weight losses when we should have had a weight gain. We go into stalls when we eat under budget and have losses after a splurge. I’m pretty sure I’ve said this before. Our bodies conspire with the scale to mess with our minds. So our first default response to a scale increase should be to do nothing. Look at the scale. Sigh. Record the number and move on. There is no need to get off the scale and get on it again, hoping for a better weight. Or to stand on your left leg only in a wasted effort to get a smaller number. Your weight is your weight. Log it. Own it. Move on. One point to make here. It’s easy to confuse “weight gain or loss” with “fat gain or loss”. The scale cannot easily differentiate between losing weight because you are reducing your stored fat or because you are dehydrated. I talk about why “Weight Loss is Wrong” in MYST 157. If you want to wring your hands, and post “Oh, I’m a weight loss failure” on LoseIt, go ahead, but that won’t change anything. Sure, some people will respond with comments that have become meaningless platitudes to weight loss frustration, such as “You’re probably gaining muscle because muscle weighs more than fat” or “Don’t forget to take measurements because that’s how you really measure weight loss” or “You need to eat more/eat less/eat keto/purge/binge/cleanse/ or whatever Dr. Oz is pitching today”. All of that advice is garbage. It’s all given with good intentions, but it is useless. Worse than that, the advice you receive distracts you from the steps you need to take to get back on track. You need to get off the scale and go about your normal day. Eat. Log. Walk. And stop obsessing about the scale. Here’s the second option: Maybe the scale is telling you more than you want to acknowledge. Random and intermittent gains are one thing, but have you been seeing steady and slow (or maybe fast) gains, almost every time you stand on the scale? I’m sure we’ve all had periods when then scale just continues to climb. That is a signal that something is wrong. Don’t obsess over the bathroom scale, but maybe start to obsess over the kitchen scale. Answer these questions: * Are you weighing everything you eat? * Are you logging everything you eat and drink? * If you cook (at home or professionally) are you accounting for every Bite, Lick, Taste, and Sip (“the BLTS of weight loss”)? If your answer is “No” to any of those questions, you probably found the cause. And once you know the cause, you also know the corrective action you need to take. That does not mean the corrective action will ...
No, I’m not thanking you, my listeners, for your help. (But I do appreciate all my listeners and all the ideas that you have given to me.) I’m talking about how to handle the people around you who want to tell you that everything you are doing on your weight loss journey is wrong. It might be your neighbor. Your cubicle mate at work. Your spouse. Or it might be some random unknown and anonymous person in a weight loss internet group. “You are doing it all wrong! Here is how you need to do it!” Then they proceed to tell you exactly what you need to eat, how you need to move, how much water you need, how much sleep and a myriad of other activities and decisions that are exactly not what you are currently doing. Picture via Pixabay, by KirkandMimi When someone challenges your process, your decisions, your plan, you have two options. You can defend yourself with reason, rationale, and research. And they may be the right choice, in a few situations. But commonly–at least in my experience–many people become strident disciples of their chosen weight loss method and there is nothing that you can tell them to help them agree with your choice. People who believe eating a keto diet seem to be very prone to that “my way is right, and everything else is wrong”. (I know that is just anecdotal and based on my experiences, but since they are my experiences, I am standing by my statement.) For those “true believers,” it is more than a simple weight loss plan, it is almost a religion. And in my experience, trying to convince someone that their religion is the wrong religion never ends well. The other choice is simple (but far from easy). All you need to say is “Thank you for your help on my weight loss journey.” That’s it. Then walk away (metaphorically, if not literally.) A simple, “Thank you, I hear you, and I appreciate your assistance” ends the conversation. And because you will not get pulled down a rabbit-hole of discussion and argument, you win. Is their advice the right advice for you? Maybe. Or maybe not. Ask yourself this: “Do I want to be right, or do I want to be happy?” I’ve decided that I’d rather be happy than right, especially since I am generally unable to convince other people that I’m right. It’s wasted effort and emotion. Even though the advice that you are given is unwanted, remember that in their mind, they are trying to help you. In most cases, their advice and guidance come from a positive spirit of helpfulness. They may not realize that their ideas run completely contrary to your own. You don’t need to become defensive and try to rationalize your decision. Simply say, “Thanks for that idea. I am glad you are trying to help.” And then ignore it. I remember when my children were young (they are 26 and 23 now) that sometimes, the key to family happiness is knowing when to pick your battles. The same attitude applies here, too. _________________________ Music composed and performed by Jason Shaw, courtesy of Audionautix.com Voiceover courtesy of Matt Young. Matt is a professional voiceover artist. If you have any need of voice-over work, for your podcast, radio spot, or whatever, you can reach Matt by a variety of methods. He is on LinkedIn. On Twitter. And Google+. Follow his
Hetty MB from LoseIt wrote to me and asked “How did you overcome the tendency we all have to be in all-or-nothing mode, resulting in your ‘never quit’ approach?’ Great question, Hetty. I think my answer will surprise you! I didn’t overcome that tendency. I embraced it! I am all in for my success, my health and my happiness. I think that people who do not go all in, who are not “all or nothing” are getting ready to quit. And quitting is an acceptable choice. Everyone has that option. But if you want to succeed, you need to go all or nothing. You need to decide that this goal is worth all the effort it will take. Losing weight is only part of the journey, and in reality, it’s the short part (if you are willing to define short as “several years before you reach your goal weight.”) But even several years is short in comparison to the “rest of your life”. And that is why you must totally embrace the all or nothing mentality. Our weight loss journey never ends. Go big or go home. It’s all or nothing. This is an “all in” journey that we are taking. Picture via Pixabay, by PDPics _________________________ Music composed and performed by Jason Shaw, courtesy of Audionautix.com Voiceover courtesy of Matt Young. Matt is a professional voiceover artist. If you have any need of voice-over work, for your podcast, radio spot, or whatever, you can reach Matt by a variety of methods. He is on LinkedIn. On Twitter. And Google+. Follow his Facebook page to learn how to better use social media. Matt was also my guest on MYST 54. Give his story a listen! All images are Creative Common Zero.
Which leadership and communication style is your strength? Are you a D? Or are you an S? Why does it matter in weight loss? D= Director (dominating, opinionated, decision-maker, sometimes acts quickly without having all the data) I = Influencer (cheerleader, social, is a great team-builder) S = Steadfast (steady, prefers to have no changes, follows detailed directions) C = Calculator (critical, precise, likes graphs, charts, and specific rules, tends to plan extensively) Which if these skills are one of your strengths? You can take a free DISC Test here. Most people think “I know who I am, and how I communicate” but it’s also common that we don’t realize how other people see and hear us. Personally, I communicate directly, clearly and I don’t sugar-coat anything. I think that’s simple, plain and easy to understand. But depending on who I’m dealing with, it can seem arrogant, bossy, and demanding. The same message can have more than one feeling. So, how does that affect weight loss? Depending on your style, you may or may not have more success with different diet plans. D people (like me) and C people are able to self-power through weight loss. “C” people find graphs, charts and very detailed and specific diet plans to work best. “D” people set personal goals and use inner-focus to drive forward, but may frequently change plans if success is not found. D and C people are focused on the task of weight loss. I and C people are social people. “I” people are the cheerleaders of weight loss and find the best success when helping others find success. “S” people work best in group settings, and find comfort in following established guidelines, especially if the guidelines (rules) do not change often. I and S people focus on the society of weight loss. I hope you take that exam I included in the link above. When you know your style, maybe it will influence your choice of weight loss methods. For example: D: Be your own leader. Set goals and then focus completely on those goals. Become a coach to someone else, but not the cheerleader. This is best in a 1 on 1 setting. Hold your student accountable, but give him/her suggestions for improvement. (When D’s do this, they tend to follow their own advice.) I: Lead a group, such as Weight Watchers or TOPS so that you can encourage and inspire a group, and use the group’s energy to motivate yourself. Or post inspirational messages on an online group. S: Join that Weight Watcher or TOPS group. Or get active in an online group so that you can work with others who share your challenges. Find a method of weight loss that has concrete and objective rules, such as WW, Nutrisystem or any “named” diet. C: Set your goals, but in a series of intermediate goals. Create a graph or spreadsheet tracking your progress. Find a strict and clearly defined weight loss plan (Keto, Paleo, or Intermittent Fasting) so that you know exactly what to do each meal. There is no one “right” type. We all have a dominant style with other styles also present, but to a lesser degree. Maybe you are a D/C or a C/S. (The only combos that do not happen are D/S and C/I). And we all are able to use D, I, S, or C when needed. It’s just that we all have communication types that are easiest. When we know ourselves–and how other people see us–we can sometimes use our strengths to help ourselves and others. Picture via Pixabay, by Geralt _________________________
Dolly from LoseIt asks: “I am too often not hungry enough to eat above 1,000 calories a day and I know I should be eating at least 1,200, my budget is just over 1,400. I am not exercising per se, just usual daily stuff. What can I do to safely add those extra calories? I’m losing weight, but I want the loss to be a healthy one :-)” That’s a great question, Dolly, and my simple answer is: Eat Real Food! What I mean is ignore the “low fat” and “fat-free” versions of food and eat the real version. Fat-free salad dressings are loaded with sugar, salt, and thickeners. Other foods that reduce their fat content also need to add salt, sugar and other ingredients to make them palatable. The one exception is skim milk and product made from skim (fat-free) milk. When milk is skimmed, the cream is removed and nothing is added back. What else can you eat? * Instead of chicken breasts (easy to overcook and dry out) use chicken thighs. Cheaper. Tastier. * Whole eggs, not just egg whites. (And no “egg beaters.”) * Real half-and-half in your coffee, not “non-dairy creamer”. * Add avocados to your sandwiches and salads. * Eat fatty fish (salmon, tuna, mackerel) instead of white fish. * Chocolate is your friend, especially dark chocolate. * Nuts and nut butter are delicious and healthy. * You can use butter on your toast or baked potato. You can even use real sour cream. * An absolutely delicious breakfast is a bowl of seasonal berries topped with half-and-half. But when I make this, I splurge and use heavy cream. The key with all those higher calorie foods is you MUST use care. Measure/weigh the foods and log it all. Keep to your budget, but eat your full budget. These high fat foods will also help make you feel full for longer, and let you fill your budget with foods that you love. And Dolly, in your particular case, you need to add about 400 calories per day. My go-to evening snack is an ounce of almond and an ounce of dark chocolate. That is about 350 calories of deliciousness. I’m sure that even though you feel you are full at 1000 calories, you can find the room for a snack that is a total of two ounces (by weight.) Picture via Pixabay, by beatrize (Chocolate Nuts) and Jill111 (Blueberries in Cream) _________________________ Music composed and performed by Jason Shaw, courtesy of Audionautix.com Voiceover courtesy of Matt Young. Matt is a professional voiceover artist. If you have any need of voice-over work, for your podcast, radio spot, or whatever, you can reach Matt by a variety of methods. He is on LinkedIn. On Twitter. And Google+. Follow his Facebook page to learn how to better use social media. Matt was also my guest on MYST 54. Give his story a listen! All images are Creative Common Zero.
Intermittent Fasting (IF) Spoiler: I am not against the practice, but it still comes down to CICO. Eat 100 calories an hour for 16 hours, or 200 calories an hour for 4 hours, or 800 calories an hour for 2 hours, and you will lose the same amount of weight. However, each individual person may find greater satisfaction–and more importantly, satiety–in one of those patterns when compared to the others. And for that person, one eating pattern is better than the others. But it’s still CICO. Long-term fasting? Unless it is religious-based, or medically required and monitored, I can’t support it. Picture via Pixabay, by CongerDesign How does IF help? It sets a rigid rule for the person to follow. When a person has many options (How often should I eat? What should I eat? How many calories? How much exercise? What form of exercise?) sometimes the default is to choose “none of the above” and that leads to weight loss failure. Defining the time to eat as only between 10 am and 6 pm, that one decision helps create focus and eliminates many other options. _________________________ Music composed and performed by Jason Shaw, courtesy of Audionautix.com Voiceover courtesy of Matt Young. Matt is a professional voiceover artist. If you have any need of voice-over work, for your podcast, radio spot, or whatever, you can reach Matt by a variety of methods. He is on LinkedIn. On Twitter. And Google+. Follow his Facebook page to learn how to better use social media. Matt was also my guest on MYST 54. Give his story a listen! All images are Creative Common Zero.
Last week, I talked about evaluating your actions and the results they generated, and comparing them to your goals. If you were getting good results, keep on doing it! But if your results were not helping you move toward your goal, you need to make changes. Tomorrow is always another day to make good choices. So let me tell you a little of my progress. This is an episode of total honesty and transparency. For the past year, I was in a slump. I won’t call it a plateau, because that is a little different. A plateau is when you do everything right, and yet for months, you make no progress. I wasn’t in a plateau. I was able to make progress–when I did everything right. My problem was that I was tired of doing everything right. I was not in a diet slump, but a mental slump. Not depression. More like boredom. I’ve been counting calories with LoseIt since May 2011, and have been tracking my weight since July 2008. That’s nearly 10 years of eating the right way. And I just became tired of it. So for the past year, I’ve been as low as 217, and as high as 227. I’ve been just bouncing between around those ten pounds. When I did everything right, I was at the bottom end. All the rest of the time, I was at the upper end. I looked at what I had been doing, and realized my errors. I needed a “new tomorrow” plan. I needed to go back to the basics. This wasn’t a case of eliminating foods, or increasing activity. I didn’t need keto or intermittent fasting. The good days were caused by accurate logging, the bad days were caused by indifferent logging. I never stopped logging, but I will admit that my accuracy was lacking. Photo via Pixabay, by Noah8001 I was bored. Yes. Constant calorie counting is fun at first, and eventually it is just boring. So, here is the challenge: how do I get back to doing what works when I mentally am tired of doing what works? Yeah. That is a challenge! Here is a little more about me. I’m an “all or nothing” guy. I either have a laser focus or a wandering gaze that accomplishes nothing. When I was able to use my laser on calorie counting, I reached my goal weight. My question was how can I refocus my laser, and yet not really change what I eat (because I really don’t want to give up my favorite foods.) The episodes on cholesterol (MYST 169 and MYST 170) triggered some thinking. My cholesterol numbers are good. Not great, but good. But all that research on the benefits of specific foods stirred some interest. It created a feeling of curiosity. And you can’t be bored and curious about one topic at the same time. I’ve always planned my meals for the week, and I generally use Sunday as my prep day. I like to cook as much as possible on Sunday, which eliminates work in the evening after returning home, and helps prevent the easy “pick something up” attitude. Now I do more than plan for the week. I use a meal script. I created a chart that lists all the healthiest foods (fortunately, I love all these foods). It is on an Excel spreadsheet and I have the foods broken into four categories: at least 5x/week, at least 3x/wk, at least 1x/week, and other. For example, I want 1/4 c of oatmeal, 1/4 cup berries, 1 cup spinach, 1/2 cup legumes and 1/2 an avocado in at least five meals a week. (There are many more in that category, but this is a sample.) I also want dark chocolate and almonds or walnuts three times a week and red wine twice a week and at least one piece of fruit daily.
“Tomorrow is the most important thing in life. It comes to us at midnight very clean. It’s perfect when it arrives and it puts itself in our hands. It hopes we’ve learned something from yesterday.” John Wayne I know the name of the show suggests that “someday” never comes, and “tomorrow” is not a real day. And yesterday already happened–it cannot be changed. This show is about today. But, as with almost everything in weight loss and in life, nothing is absolute. Yesterday plays an important role, as does tomorrow. Let’s talk about yesterday first. Here is an important idea: If your yesterday was excellent and you made progress, you have learned a lesson. You know what works for you. Now you need to repeat it. Maybe not copy your food exactly. You don’t need to eat precisely the same foods, but simply repeat the concept of the meals. But maybe you will want to eat exactly the same food. If it tasted good, and you enjoyed it, and it brought you more success–well the saying goes, “don’t fix what’s not broken.” However, maybe yesterday threw you a curve ball and you struck out. The scale showed a minor weight gain. But you know that in weight loss, even minor gains can lead to big problems. So use that gain as an indicator that you were given a learning lesson. Photo via Pixabay, by GreekFood-Tamystika Go back and evaluate your actions. If you look–and you probably won’t need to look hard–you’ll see where you went off-track. Unless yesterday was your first day on your weight loss journey, the “wrong choice” will stand out like a cherry on top of a bowl of vanilla ice cream. What changes do you need to make? Ah, now that is where I can’t give you exact advice because it all depends on the “wrong choice” that you found. It could be: * you simply need to get back to basics. * you need to make a total change of plans. * you need increase your exercise program * you must stop eating your trigger foods * you should purge your food kryptonite from your home and office. I don’t know what you need to do. That is very specific to you, but for every “wrong choice” there is a “new option”. And more than a “new option” there is also a “new day”. Tomorrow. See, when we have a bad day–bad month?–we always keep one option available. We can make changes tomorrow. A bad day yesterday–or today–may help us have a better day tomorrow. Tomorrow is that new slate. Tomorrow is a field of snow unmarked by any human footprints. Tomorrow allows us to change ourselves into what we see ourselves to be. So, look at yesterday as a test, and if your score was not a passing grade, use tomorrow to make necessary changes. The tests in life never end, but also we never stop having the ability to make new choices. And that is where we will find our lasting success. Next week, I will talk about what has been happening to me, my self-evaluation of my actions, and the changes that I put in place to break my slump. Yes. I was in a slump. If you are in a slump, come back next week. Picture via Pixabay, by _________________________ Music composed and performed by Jason Shaw, courtesy of Audionautix.com Voiceover courtesy of Matt Young. Matt is a professional voiceover artist. If you have any need of voice-over work,
Success is all about one step at a time and never quitting. And the only way that happens is if you consistently focus on just one thing: The next step. Maybe your focus is the next pound. Or the next mile you are going to run. Maybe you just need to focus on the next meal. Weight loss is simple, but not easy. But if you learn to consistently focus on just the next step–and that step may be as small as walking past the box of donuts at the office–you will develop good habits that will carry you to success. Picture via Pixabay, by FGARDUNO _________________________ Music composed and performed by Jason Shaw, courtesy of Audionautix.com Voiceover courtesy of Matt Young. Matt is a professional voiceover artist. If you have any need of voice-over work, for your podcast, radio spot, or whatever, you can reach Matt by a variety of methods. He is on LinkedIn. On Twitter. And Google+. Follow his Facebook page to learn how to better use social media. Matt was also my guest on MYST 54. Give his story a listen! All images are Creative Common Zero.
How to help your cholesterol numbers without medication? Studies show that some foods, when consumed regularly over a 6-week period, can reduce our LDL, triglycerides and total cholesterol, and others can increase our HDL. Some of these studies suggest percentages of improvement. Remember that a study is not necessarily real life, so you can’t assume you will achieve those values, but it is a start. First things first: Limit Sat Fat: Why is saturated fat so bad for your heart and blood vessels? The liver uses saturated fat to make cholesterol, so eating foods with too much saturated fat can increase cholesterol levels, especially LDL. Saturated fats are usually found in animal products such as whole milk, cream, butter, and cheese, and meats, such as beef, lamb, and pork. There are some plant-based saturated fats you should avoid too, notably palm kernel oil, coconut oil, and vegetable shortening. Yes, that means I am telling you to stop using coconut oil. I know that some research suggests it may be different and not as bad as other saturated fats. Personally, I’ll err on the side of caution. I know saturated fats will cause problems, and that outweighs the fact that it may not cause as many problems as thought. Now, what should you eat? If you know you want menu ideas, just click here. Whole grains like oatmeal barley and brown rice have lots of soluble fiber, which has been proven to lower LDL cholesterol by reducing the absorption of cholesterol into your bloodstream and can drop LDL up to 5% Try switching out your regular pasta for the whole-grain version, or use brown rice instead of white. You can add dry oatmeal to your fruit smoothie for added body, but no change in flavor. Red wine drops LDL 9-12% Red wine contains resveratrol, which may prevent damage to blood vessels by reducing the risk of blood clots. Drinking too much alcohol can cause a host of other health issues, however; while a glass of red wine at dinner is fine, don’t overdo it. Also, wine has calories to consider. On average, wine is about 25 calories per fluid ounce (per 30mL). If you are going to drink wine, measure it every time, don’t just pour it into your goblet. A five-ounce portion will add 125 calories. If you free-pour and end up with just six ounces in your glass, that is 25 calories extra. Over a full year, that adds up to 9.125 calories, or the equivalent to 2.6 pounds! Photos via Pixabay by Eagletonc High Omega-3 Fatty Acid Fish raise HDL up to 4%. Fish like salmon, albacore tuna, sardines, mackerel and river trout are all rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which reduce triglycerides in the blood. Aim for 8 ounces of fish a week, and bake or grill the fish — don’t fry it — to keep it healthy. Non-fatty fish (cod, haddock, tilapia, are healthy sources of protein, and still offer some omega-3 benefit, but not as much.) Photos via Pixabay by Meditations Tree Nuts drops LDL up to 5%. Nuts are high in polyunsaturated fatty acids, so almonds, walnuts, pecans, hazelnuts, or pistachios can help reduce your LDL levels with their high levels of plant sterols. Try sprinkling them on your salad, or eat them right out of hand as a snack. Just be sure to choose the low-salt option, and keep it to about 1 ounce a day — nuts are also high in calories. For almonds, that’s about 28 almonds or 1/4 cup, and will add 180-200 calories to your daily consumption.
All right, we are all trying to lose weight and get healthy. We use the scale to gauge our progress, as well as using the fit of our clothes as another marker of success. We also may notice that your blood pressure drops. Maybe your diabetes becomes controlled. Maybe your strength and endurance show improvement. But what about cholesterol? What is happening to that? Is it still building up in the blood vessels around your heart, putting you at risk of a heart attack? Is it starting to clog your carotid arteries, which could bring a stroke? Is it blocking arteries in your legs, causing pain when you walk? You probably have no symptoms of a heart attack or stroke or even peripheral vascular disease. Not yet. But the problem is that when you have overt symptoms, the damage is being done and the risk is suddenly great. What’s Normal? Total cholesterol HDL cholesterol LDL cholesterol Triglycerides Good Less than 200 40 or higher Less than 100 Less than 149 Borderline 200–239 n/a 130–159 150–199 High 240 or higher n/a 160 or higher 200 or higher Low n/a less than 40 n/a n/a https://www.healthline.com/health/high-cholesterol/levels-by-age#adults Note: HDL over 40 is good, but studies suggest that HDL more than 60 acts in a cardio-protective fashion. Your HDL goal should be >60. I’m not going to be pessimistic and assume it’s far beyond normal. Let’s assume that all of your cholesterol numbers are just at the beginning of high. Your total cholesterol is 240, your HDL is 40, your LDL is 160, and your triglycerides are 200. All those numbers are borderline high. Not bad. Not yet. How can we change these numbers? The way people process cholesterol differs. Some people appear to be more vulnerable to cholesterol-rich diets. Research is beginning to show that your genetic makeup – not diet – is the driving force behind cholesterol levels, says cardiologist Steven Nissen, MD. Of the Cleveland Clinic The body creates cholesterol in amounts much larger than what you can eat, Dr. Nissen says. So avoiding foods that are high in cholesterol won’t affect your blood cholesterol levels very much. “About 85 percent of the cholesterol in the circulation is manufactured by the body in the liver,” he says. “It isn’t coming directly from the cholesterol that you eat.” https://health.clevelandclinic.org/2015/02/why-you-should-no-longer-worry-about-cholesterol-in-food/ Cholesterol isn’t evil But to fully explain cholesterol, you need to realize that it’s also vital to your health and well-being. Although we measure cholesterol production in the blood, it’s found in every cell in the body. Cholesterol is a waxy, whitish-yellow fat and a crucial building block in cell membranes. It’s also used to make vitamin D, hormones (including testosterone and estrogen), and fat-dissolving bile acids. In fact, cholesterol production is so important that your liver and intestines make about 80% of the cholesterol you need to stay healthy. Only about 20% comes from the foods you eat. If you eat only 200 to 300 milligrams (mg) of cholesterol a day (one egg yolk has about 200 mg), your liver will produce an additional 800 milligrams per day from raw materials such as fat, sugars, and proteins. Since cholesterol is a fat, it can’t travel alone in the bloodstream. It would end up as useless globs (imagine bacon fat floating in a pot of water). To get around this problem, the body packages cholesterol and other lipids into minuscule protein-covered particles that mix easily with blood.