When we are feeling sick, sometimes our healthy diet goes out the window and we run to our comfort foods. Don’t use this as an excuse to throw your good habits under the bus. It is very important to still get all our food in, so make sure you prepare your food in advance to ensure that you are continuing to make healthy decisions. Stay hydrated, even though it might seem hard to do. Try drinking hot herbal green teas, low sodium chicken or vegetable broth, and avoid the caffeine. Avoid sugary juices such as orange and apple juice. We all need vitamin C, but the calories aren’t worth it. Always ask your doctor first, but some supplements you can take to help boost your immune system are Zinc, Vitamin C, and Echinacea. When it comes to exercise, don’t over do it. Just do as much as you can, but ultimately listen to what your body is telling you. Watch your diet, get plenty of rest, drink lots of water and you should be better in no time!
Love is one of the strongest words in the english language. It can mean a lot of things. It’s a noun, it’s a verb and we say it almost every day. It evokes a lot of emotion, both good or bad. Love has even been the cause of some wars in history. With everything going on in our lives, do we take the time to stop to smell the roses and say to ourselves and mean it, “I love myself. I really, really, love myself!” Valentine’s Day is a holiday when we stop what we are doing and show our love to others. We make elaborate plans in hopes of expressing our love to a significant other. For example, I love my girlfriend, so I show her by getting her flowers, making her breakfast in bed and taking her out on a date. We do nice things for others, but what do we do for ourselves? I don’t know about you, but I love myself with food. I love the movies, but I really love eating movie theater popcorn. I love baseball, but I really love having a beer and peanuts at the game. Sometimes my love of a food, instead of just the activity, gets in the way of living a healthy lifestyle. I don’t always realize it, but it’s true. I don’t need popcorn and beer to love what I am doing and have a good time. We can experience love in another way, with the companionship of a significant other, a good friend or even a puppy. But first, we have to love ourselves. That’s the l-o-v-e that we all need in our lives. Happy Valentine’s Day!
Why do we eat stuff we aren’t suppose to? The answer is different for most of us. We don’t wake up and roll out of bed and say to ourselves, “I could really go for a burger and fries right now.” No, we are motivated, we eat our breakfast and we go to work, school or to the gym. For me, I am an emotional eater. If I have a rough day or even a good day, I want to eat. It’s like I don’t have a conscience until after I look in the pantry and the fridge for stuff I am not suppose to have. It’s mindless eating and it’s not worth it. Sure there is a little spark when you engorge yourself, but its short lived. The guilt you have after isn’t worth it. I can’t explain the suffering and the pain I cause myself after. It isn’t worth the 5 seconds of bliss for all the agony in the world. When I am not in the right mindset I am going to fail. Emotions are powerful, but so is our will. When life is coming at me like a stampede of emotional turmoil, I have to grab the bull by the horns and be the one in control. I have to take myself out of the situation. I then focus on something else and go for a short walk to regroup. I think about all the positives in my life and how happy I am when I am healthy. After a few minutes I find that the need to binge eat is greatly diminished and I am back in control again.
There will come a time when you will be shouting from the mountain top about your weight loss journey. People love to hear a good success story. Have you found yourself seeing someone else’s achievement and wondering, “Why not me?” Instead of just wishing, say to yourself, “That’s going to be me!” We all are weight loss superstars, my story and yours. I am constantly motivated by all the members on the Reshape the Nation Community page. “daGopha” lost 72 pounds, “spidermonkey615” lost 30 pounds, and “Sandwulf” lost 45 pounds. How cool is that? I also appreciate how “Oceanblue” is always showing the love, as well as “walkwithchappy” posting all his motivating videos along his journey with his wife. One thing I want us to work on is to not downplay our achievements, whether they are 5 pounds or 100 pounds. We tell ourself that it must be water weight or that it’s just a fluke. We have to give ourselves a pat on the back and be proud of the accomplishments we have made. We have worked really hard, done our Metaboosts and Accelerators, followed our meal plans and have stayed focused. Congratulations on your own success story!
Instead of fumbling the ball on Thanksgiving, score a touchdown! A few ways to avoid Thanksgiving follies is to use a smaller plate to serve yourself smaller portions. Think green and load up on the veggies. And Green bean casserole isn’t a green veggie! Yes, Thanksgiving is a reward day, but make sure you stay in control as well. Before the big meal, avoid the summer sausage, cheese and crackers and eat from the veggie platter instead. Remember, Thanksgiving is to give thanks to family and friends—not food. Also, make sure you drink a tall glass of water before you eat. If you are going to multiple dinners, just take 2 bites of each dessert rather than whole portions of each. If Aunt Edna gets offended that you didn’t try her homemade stuffing, say that you’re full and ask to take a plate to-go. When you leave, toss it! When it comes to leftovers we can’t always trust ourselves. Throw it all out except the white turkey meat and green veggies. Get it out of the house, because the temptation just isn’t worth it. Happy Thanksgiving everyone!
Oh the weather outside is frightful, But the fire is so delightful, And since we’ve no place to go, Let it Snow! Let it Snow! Let it Snow!
When I hear that song, I think of staying inside by the fire and drinking hot cocoa all day. In a perfect world that might work, but this is the real world (no claymation needed) and we all have the same goals to lose weight and be healthy. I know the weather isn’t going to be playing nice with us most of the time and putting on our winter clothes can be a hassle, but its very important that we get our Accelerators done one way or another. Accelerators are very important to our weight loss. Let’s not sell ourselves short and try rationalizing our way out of doing them. We have come a long way and we can’t let a little bit of cold weather derail our progress. It’s going to be cold every year and you know it’s going to happen, so let’s stay focused, put on our long johns and get moving! Accelerators can be walking, biking, swimming, ellipticals, and anything that keeps us moving in the daily assigned intervals. We can do them inside or outside, in a gym, in our home or in a mall while holiday shopping. It doesn’t matter where, just get it done! Let’s fire up that metabolism and stay warm this winter!
Happy Halloween Reshapers! Its that time of year again, when we buy too much candy and we end up eating the leftovers. We see candy corn, candy pumpkins, chocolate peeps, and other novelty Halloween candy and we think to ourselves, “I’ve gotta get some extra bags, because its once a year I get to indulge in them”. Its not our fault. We are bombarded everywhere with huge, mega bags of Snickers, Twix, and M&M’s. We always buy too much candy and it seems at the end of every Halloween night we have at least a bag or so left over. It was bad enough when after every trick or treater we would sneak in a bar or two. You might think, “They are so small and its not like I’m are eating a whole candy bar”. Not so fast! On average each snack size has over 80 to 100 calories, and you don’t even want to know what the regular and king size bars pack in on calories. Before we know it at the end of the night we have knocked down 10 bars and are close to 1000 calories. To avoid this holiday trap, I would buy candy that you don’t have any interest in to help avoid eating it. I am not a big fan of 3 Musketeers, so I buy that. At the end of the night, toss it all out. And don’t fall into the trap trying to check the kid’s candy and taking a few bars without looking suspicious. Don’t do it - it’s just not worth it. If you feel you must have a Halloween treat, save it for a Reward, but don’t save more than 2 or 3 small pieces, max. Throw out the rest. Don’t tempt yourself by keeping it in the house. You will binge on it later if you have access to it. I want everyone to have a safe and healthy Halloween night!
We all need an outlet and one of my main outlets was food. I turned to it so many times that my weight was maxed out around 650 pounds. I knew I had to turn to something else. Even before I started a healthy way with Reshape, my uncle suggested that I start journaling as a way to get my emotions out. I laughed it off at first because I thought only little girls wrote in their diary. It was now a year later and I was starting at the beginning of my weight loss, having a hard time. I didn’t want to binge and ruin my progress like I had in the past. I finally did what my uncle suggested, bought a notebook and wrote on the first page, “How I saved my life, my journal”. I wrote in it mostly at night before bed, but if something came up I wrote it down immediately. My journal got me through some tough times as well as some good times. It’s good to thumb through it and remember how hard it was and realize how far along I have come. I didn’t have to worry about sitting down at a hockey game, because now I could fit in the seat. I didn’t have to worry about not fitting in the front seat of a car. I didn’t have to worry about ever going to a truck stop to get weighed again. If I binged, I now realized the triggers involved and took myself out of that situation. I was amazed someone opened the door for me and smiled. I was laughed at in the parking lot and a long line of people stared and gawked at me while I walked by, but I had still left the house and I was so proud. I have so many memories and experiences that I can recall forever. I now have a healthy outlet through journaling and a remembrance of how I saved my life.
With all of the new information you need to get started on your weight loss journey with Reshape the Nation, one important step is to create an environment for success. What does that mean exactly? Well…
It’s time to clear your space and environment (home, car and office) of things that may have a negative impact on your success! While “reward foods” are part of the Reshape meal plan, they do not belong in your space because as David Smith put it, “will power is highly overrated”. Reward foods belong where they come from; the shelf, restaurant or grocery store. The moment you bring these treats into your home is the last grasp of will power you thought you had. Most of us are weak to the power that reward foods have when they are in the next room. They practically speak to us out loud, calling our name to rescue them from the dark and lonely pantry, freezer or other unmentionable hiding place. Trust us, we know how it is!
These Reward items include but are not limited to:
Also remove all foods containing the following ingredients:
The sooner you remove these from your environment, space, home, car or hiding place you thought no one else knew about, the better your chances are of succeeding! You can do it, Team Reshape believes in you!
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It’s been 8 years in the making. Chris Powell, trainer, started working with David Smith to help him lose over 400lbs. He and David took those same practices that helped him lose weight and applied them to an online program where anyone could go to interact, learn and ultimately have success with long-term weight-loss and good health. Out of the vision both Chris Powell and David Smith had to “pay it forward”, Reshape the Nation was born.
8 years later, Chris’ final episode of the first season of Extreme Makeover Weight Loss Edition airs on Monday night, 10/9PM C on ABC. It promises to be the best yet, leaving you wanting more and inspiring you to make extraordinary changes in your own life, for the rest of your life. Take part in the journey that is yours, be present and pass along what you learn, you have nothing to lose!
What was Chris Powell’s Reshape the Nation like in the beginning? Well, let’s take a trip down memory lane…
Those were but a few of the memories we’ve had here at Reshape the Nation. We are so proud of everyone of you who’s taken the steps to change your life forever, we commend your efforts and admire the dedication! We really are in this together! There’s no stopping a train that runs on the pure energy we give it, keep it going guys—keep Reshaping the Nation!
For a free 7-day all-access membership to Reshape the Nation, click here.
What is protein? We hear all about it these days, but what is it? In a simple metaphor, protein is the building blocks of the human body. Look at yourself in the mirror, or simply look down at your hands, your legs, and your feet. Everything you see is made of protein. Now let’s dive under your skin and explore your incredible body. As we move deeper into the body we will first encounter a layer of fat. This is not made of protein - sorry. But as we explore deeper, we move into the beautiful muscles of your body, all made of protein. And this is the protein we want to focus on…
At Reshape the Nation, dietary protein (the kind we eat) is a very important part of our lifestyle. Our body uses the protein we eat to maintain and build our beautiful muscles. And the muscle, being the most metabolically active tissue in our body, boosts our metabolic rate through the roof! Now can you see why protein is so important for us? You betcha!
As for how our bodies get protein, if we want to have fun with it, simply put, proteins come from anything that has eyes. It’s a funny saying, but it’s true! Think about it…
However, nowadays we can get protein from some other incredible sources. We can get proteins from plants like soy, hemp, rice, and almonds; from milk products like cottage cheese and whey; and from eggs.
You get to decide which proteins work for you—that’s the beauty of the meal plan behind Reshape the Nation.
The last two episodes of Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss Edition promise to be both inspiring and riveting! At least one thing they have in common? They are both moms who want and need to lose weight for themselves and their families. And while moms can utilize Reshape the Nation to get the results they want, the Reshape lifestyle was intended for all to have success!
Chris Powell, creator of Reshape the Nation and transformation specialist, was featured on Good Morning America this morning and offered some helpful summer weight loss tips. To all you Reshapers out there, no matter where you are in your journey, here is a little note from Mr. Powell:
“When embarking upon a weight loss journey, it is important that we supply ourselves with all of the tools and tactics we can gather for the road ahead. This will help us reach our destination in the least amount of time—and with the least amount of effort!
One powerful tactic that I have used in all of my transformations is the re-creation of the environment.
Why change our environment?
Humans are creatures of habit. We gravitate toward safe, familiar surroundings and tend to follow similar patterns, day in and day out. This is engrained in our mind and necessary for our survival! Ultimately, when we are looking to lose weight and live a healthy lifestyle, it requires a change in our daily patterns.
Research has shown that most people are able to make a permanent change in their daily behavioral patterns when there is some abrupt change in their “life story”—whether moving to a new home, changing jobs, changing relationships, etc. This turbulence, as it upsets the normal daily pattern, helps “reset” our minds and puts us in a good place to adopt new patterns!
The best thing you can do is to create some turbulence in your surroundings to reset your mind and to adopt a new lifestyle. By changing your environment and creating a “safe haven” around you, you will combat the old triggers that came so naturally before. Here’s a few tips for creating your own environment for success:
1. Clean out your kitchen; your fridge, pantry, cupboards, everything. Move to the bedroom and clean out ALL hiding spots for food. Same with the workplace. Throw all junk foods away. If they are in your immediate environment, they will sabotage your success. Get ‘em gone! Don’t worry, you can still enjoy the foods you crave, but it is important that they are enjoyed in moderation—outside of your “safe haven.”
2. Rearrange the furniture in your living room and bedroom. These are usually two big trigger hotspots. Move the couch to the other wall. Put the TV stand across from the new couch location. In your bedroom, move your bed to another wall. Place your alarm clock on the other dresser, so that when you roll over to hit snooze in the morning, it isn’t there. Instead, it is beeping at your from the other side, or even better ... across the room where you have to walk to it. Immediately, you are quickly reminded of the new you.
3. Pictures, Pictures, Pictures. What motivates you? Having the body of your dreams? Getting in shape to play with your kids? Whatever it is, place pictures of your motivation all around you. On the bathroom mirror, on the fridge, IN the fridge, in the office, on the dashboard of your car ... wherever. These images will constantly remind you why you are embracing a new lifestyle!
4. Hit all of your senses—even your nose. Use potpourri, incense or any other scents to bring a new smell to your house. Avoid scents that stimulate the appetite, like sweet smells.
It is time to reset those unhealthy lifestyle patterns. Change things up and create you very own environment for success.
I believe in you,
Tonight is going to be a big night in extreme weight loss as Chris Powell, star of Extreme Makeover Weight-Loss Edition and creator of Reshape the Nation, tries to help Wally lose excess weight he’s been carrying around for a long time.
Emotions can run hot for a compulsive eater trying to lose weight. It can seem like an impossible, up-hill battle for most in that particular situation. Having suffered from prior underlying issues such as incest, sexual abuse, child abuse, parental neglect or abandonment, parental substance abuse, and other adverse childhood experiences, these individuals often find that obesity is the solution, not the problem. Let’s begin asking the right questions.
You don’t want to ask an obese individual how they gained weight, however, a better question to ask is “when did they start gaining weight”. The emotions experienced in those underlying issues can rise to the surface when that individual begins to challenge the reason for most of their weight gain. That’s when they start to actually deal with the cause (underlying issue), instead of the reaction, (weight gain).
A seminar was hosted by Dr. Vincent Fellitti at Good Samaritan Hospital in which he spoke poignantly about his research on obesity and how it led to a study that links Adverse Childhood Experiences, otherwise known as the ACE Study, to problems such as obesity, diabetes, chronic health issues, domestic violence, and a myriad of mental health and substance abuse issues. To illustrate how research has missed the boat when it comes to obesity, he shows two photographs of the same woman, one where she weighs over 400 pounds and one after bariatric surgery where she has dropped to 130 pounds. He then asks the question “what is the problem and what is the solution”.
According to Joy Singh, MS, LCPC, once an individual learns that they can fully accept themselves, can they begin moving towards change. That’s when they can then begin to replace unhealthy coping skills with healthier ones which in turn provide for long-lasting change. For the obese individual, this would mean learning self-soothing skills that are not related to food. It would mean challenging negative automatic thoughts and raising self-esteem. It would mean being able to break down defenses and knowing they will still be here and be ok. It would mean the difference between living and existing, which to anyone, is one of the most valuable tools they could learn.
The one constant in our lives seems to be stress, we can easily develop diseases because of it, adhere to old mental blocks inspired by it, and lose sight of our journey with Reshape the Nation to better health and weight loss.
Stress is not a well-oiled machine—it comes erratically like a thief in the night, when you’re least expecting it, causing extreme disarray to your parasympathetic nervous system (responsible for homeostasis, relaxation, and repair) and activating your sympathetic “fight-or-flight” system (think raised blood pressure, heart rate, shortness of breath, and tension headaches—Oh My!!).
Remember the feeling you had of almost getting into a car accident when another driver cut you off? You probably tensed up with white-knuckles, gripping the steering wheel and broke a sweat. Or have you gotten so angry or frustrated lately that you wanted to scream and throw something or bawl your eyes out? Well, that’s your sympathetic nervous system response.
Your body is constantly responding from one of your two nervous systems: sympathetic or parasympathetic. One is responsible for helping you survive, and the other aides the body in rest and repair. The problem with the sympathetic nervous system is that because it’s a knee-jerk bodily response, any time you are jolted by unwarranted stress (ie: dieting, exercise and fighting the urge to eat everything in sight), your body reacts as though it’s life-or-death, which is really taxing on the nervous system as a whole.
The easiest way to combat stress is to adopt a plan to de-stress right at that very moment when stress occurs, or even a little before. You may not think you have control over your heart rate, blood pressure or breathing depth, but you’ll be surprised to know that by controlling one, you can control the others. The secret is in the breath.
The term “take a deep breath” is not advised for no reason, it’s true, just take a deep breath, or take many deep breaths! The more breath you take and the rate at which you take it can activate your parasympathetic nervous system which will calm you down and enter you into de-stress and repose mode.
Try this breathing technique anytime and anywhere, whether you’re experiencing severe stress or not, it will help alleviate the sympathetic nervous system response.
1. Inhale and exhale through your nose.
2. Start to slow your breath, inhaling and exhaling for the same count with a short pause at the top of your inhale.
Example- Inhale for 5 counts (expanding the breath into your belly, lungs, chest and sternum) hold for 1 count then exhale or 5 counts (pushing the air out of your lungs, bringing your belly-button to your spine at the bottom of the exhale)
3. Take 10 breaths like this
When you are ready, activate your parasympathetic nervous system with this breathing technique.
1. Inhale and exhale through your nose.
2. Inhale for a certain count, hold at the top of the inhale, and exhale double the count of the inhale.
Example- Start with an inhale at 4 counts, hold for 1 count, then exhale for 8 counts.
3. Work your way up to 6 counts on the inhale (add counts at your own pace).
4. Maintain this technique for 20 breaths
5. Remember to inhale and exhale slowly, awareness of your breath will lead to de-stressing in no time!
With all the “important” and not so important things that cause an enormous amount of stress, exercising your breath with awareness can save you everyday!
After a few days off with some red, white and blue, Independence and freedom have taken on new meaning in my life.
I came across an email a friend had sent me that summed up the glorious holiday to-date. The theme? Looking Ahead—Never Behind. How many road blocks have you come up against on your life’s journey or weight-loss journey? How many excuses have you had? You know, the excuses which keep you from being healthy and truly happy, the best you. We all have excuses, and we all find a way of exercising them which in turn, keeps us from being the best we can be. Amanda Steinberg, DailyWorth founder, made a holiday list of excuses you’ll want to free yourself from in her essay titled: Woman With American Flag.
“So you have $80,000 in student-loan debt for a degree you’re not using.
So you ignored your credit-card payments for three months because you wanted to send your kid to summer camp, and your credit score took a massive hit.
So you got divorced and traded the retirement fund for the house, which is now worth $100,000 less than you paid for it.
So you quit your job only to learn that running a business isn’t as simple as you thought it would be.
And it’s all you can think about.
It’s time to take some liberties:
Liberation from guilt.
Freedom from anger.
Emancipation from self-negating thoughts like, “WHY AM I SO BAD WITH MONEY?”
We’ve all made mistakes. We’ve all made poor choices. And many of us didn’t even realize the consequences of our actions until the Recession laid bare all our excesses, all our ignorance, all our errors.
But it’s time to stop living in the past, regretting your choices and feeling guilty, irresponsible, frustrated, fearful, and stuck.
It’s time to move forward—and create a better, smarter, more empowered future.
This Independence Day, liberate yourself from the past and pledge allegiance to taking a huge leap forward into knowing your worth.”
So… My question to you is, do you think your worth it after this Fourth?