Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Reading By The Book

Whenever I hear others talk about books they are reading my ears perk up.  I have a waiting list on my kindle and yet I am always ready for that next great read.  I have recently undated my own reading list. If your ears perk up when you hear others talk about books they are reading, you can check it out on the sidebar of my blog http://annitahealthysolutions.blogspot.com .  For now I will highlight the three that impressed me the most.

1.  One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are by Ann Voskamp. (recommended by my brother)

If I were to give books for Christmas gifts, this would be the book. At a very young age Ann witnessed an unbelievable tragedy in her life.  One such that we only read about in the newspaper or hear on the news.  It shaped her life and from that point she was not childlike in her young life. Later in adulthood with a farmer husband she managed a house and a house full of kids. And at some point she discovered what gratitude for the everyday blessings could do for a life.  She writes
" The real problem of life is never lack of time.  
The real problem of life-in my life-is lack of thanksgiving."

2.  I Thought It Was Just Me by Brene Brown (my daughter's pick for our book study)

I wish I had read this when I was much younger but maybe I was too busy trying to do it all perfectly to really pay attention to the message.  Through years of research and countless interviews Brene Brown writes about our quest to be perfect and instead feeling inadequate. We are never going to get there on this earth but if we can learn to turn away from what we are supposed to be we might find that we are enough.  One quote that stands out for me is
"Courage gives us a voice and compassion gives us an ear."

3. The Book of Joy  Lasting Happiness In A Changing World by His Holiness the Dali Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu with Douglas Abrams (my daughter-in-law's pick)

I loved this book.  I reserved it for my night time reading and I always had a hard time putting it away.  It is humorous, educational, delightful and in the end it addresses the question, "How do we find happiness in life?"  If you are trying to find it, read this book.  The world needs to read that
"With a self-centered attitude, you become distanced from others, then distrust, then feel insecure, then fear, then anxiety, then frustration, then anger, then violence."

Tuesday, August 8, 2017


"Change starts in your thoughts."  

When our son was quite young, maybe 5 or 6, some of his favorite toys were transformers.  He could take a toy airplane and with a few quick turns transform it into a battleship or a monster.  His little fingers were so fast that his Dad and I could never figure out how he did it. "Transform" means to make a major change.  He did that with his toys.  I read recently about a real woman who had struggled for years with her weight problem.  After trying countless diets and fitness programs only to fail, she finally decided she had to change her mindset.  The British dictionary defines mindset as the ideas and attitudes a person approaches a situation when especially the situation is seen as being difficult to alter. Mindset involves attitude, behavior, the way we think and with effort mindset can be changed. The lady I read about took responsibility for herself and her transformation was remarkable. Fitness trackers were involved as was social media. She found online communities that became her inspiration. Facebook provides community for just about everything.  In the end she made a major change. She was the transformation!

Monday, July 31, 2017

Everyone Has A River To Cross

"The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step."  Lao Tzu

I am a sucker for a good weight loss story but this one did not have the ending I expected. A man tipping the scales at 400 pounds woke up barely able to get out of bed.  As he passed a mirror he caught a glimpse of himself and knew he had to do something.  What a wake up call! What a single step!  After doing all of the wrong things like trying "diets" and spending hours in the gym he reached out to a friend/trainer who got him on the right path. Without question it was hard.  He knew that from the beginning but with perseverance and making some tough choices he lost over 170 pounds within a reasonable amount of time.  What brought tears to my eyes was not the tips shared for successful weight loss but what he said as he reached his goal. 
"Finally the biggest and maybe the most important lesson I am learning as my journey is progressing is that I can start to open my eyes to see and understand the challenges other people face, obesity related or not.  As I was losing the weight, I noticed that there was a lot of hurt in the world. By learning to identify and understand the challenges people face, perhaps I can be a source of inspiration and motivation."  It took me a lot of years to realize that everyone has a mountain to climb.  Everyone has a river to cross.  

ACSM Certified E-News For Certified Professionals.  One Mans Journey To Losing Weight and Gaining Control of His Life.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017


Gratitude is the surest pathway to health, happiness, and success.  It shifts our attitude towards what we have rather than what we don't have."

Habits. We all have them and I think we are quick to recognize the bad ones.  Leon Festinger in writing about habits refers to cognitive dissonance, the conflicting thoughts between behavior and attitudes.  We want one thing but we do the very thing that keeps up from getting there.  For example, if weight loss is an issue but you continue to drive through for pick up meals...well that is conflicting and nothing good happens.  

However, not all of our habits are bad.  Considering the fact that about 40% of daily activity is formed around habits, the majority probably cross the line to good.  Habits help us stay on target toward the things that are really important to us and achieve goals. They also say a lot about priorities.  I recently read  "25 Best Habits To Have In Life" and, yes, exercise was #5.
It is one of the very best habits to have.  It does an incredible amount of good.  Not always the sweat dripping I need help getting to my car kind of exercise, but moderate exercise that gets your heart pumping and makes it a little hard to talk.

There were other habits on the list that do an incredible amount of good as well.  The habit of "Gratitude" is second on the list.  Gratitude helps change our focus from our problems and what we don't have to what we do have; from what's wrong with our lives to what's right with our lives.  In fact, Anne Voskamp wrote a wonderful book, "1000 Gifts" teaching that "it's only in this life expression of gratitude that we discover the life we have always wanted".  Gratitude.  It's one of the best.

Resources: http://www.entrepreneur.com
Anne Voskamp  "One Thousand Gifts" 

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Tips For Better Posture

David and I have coffee at Starbucks quite often.  Wednesday was a slow day for them; only 6 customers and us.  As I looked around I noticed three young women between the ages of 18 and 20 all with cell phones in hand, an older gentleman sitting at our table reading and a woman at the end tablet in hand.  Everyone had one thing in common outside of coffee.  Everybody was slouching. The young women were slouching with forward head. I resisted the urge to fix them.  I have done this in the past and it did not prove to be advantageous.  I am conscious of my own habits and those of my clients and while I do try to fix myself and them, that's as far as I go. Slouching or poor posture has many negative affects in the long run.  Years of slouching can lead to digestive and breathing issues. Just get a mental picture of the body all rounded forward and the lungs trying to work properly.  The lower back is in for a lot of discomfort as are the neck and shoulders.  Additionally, I recently read that slouching can also affect how we feel about ourselves.  Good posture doesn't take the place of antidepressants or counseling, if needed, but it can be uplifting.  Think about it like this.  Looking down so much can't be the picture of your happy place.  So stand up straight, pull your shoulders down and back, sit up as straight as possible, put your thumbs on the bottom of your rib cage and lift your rib cage.  Pick one of those tips as a reminder for better posture and look out or up but not down.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Father's Day Gift

In my inbox this morning was an advertisement from Bosu.  It read something like "Dad called and he wants a Bosu for Father's Day". Unless Dad is part of a small minority that works out at home, Dad does not want a Bosu for Father's Day and Mom certainly does not want it cluttering up her house.  I have Dads and Moms tell me everyday that they "have all this stuff and could exercise at home".  I nod my head in agreement not worried that they will disappear and I will never see them again. There is something motivating about going to a fitness center for exercise or a trainer for help. Others are trying to accomplish the same thing. People your size are there and that is emotional support. Along the way you learn a few names, make a few friends and you have even more reason to go. I think the #1 reason I see the same people walking in my neighborhood day after day are the friends they walk with.  However, the biggest advantage to finding a gym or a trainer is the help. You don't have that at home alone.  And if having "all that stuff at home" worked, garage sale profits would be way down.  I'm just saying that if Dad really wants a  Bosu for Father's Day buy him one, but a better idea would be to get him a Bosu with someone to teach him how to use it properly. Along the way he may learn to like it and that could be life changing. Additionally he may do it without breaking a leg. Really!

Thursday, June 1, 2017

A Hand Full of Food

One of my class participants made a comment last week  about his extra pounds and at the same time said he was not into counting calories.  I did not even bother to suggest journaling. Talking about portion control in the traditional sense is going down the wrong path as well.  Some are not into getting out the measuring cups.  So I think the best thing for him might be portion control with the hand in mind. You might find it helpful as well.  If you draw an imaginary line around the palm on the picture to the left a protein serving is one circle. This is one palm not only in circumference but in depth as well. Make a fist and that is a serving size for veggies. A cupped hand indicates the right amount for carbs such as grains and fruits.  Men get more servings than women.  There is more that you might want to check out, but this is a start.  One of the big challenges with weight loss is how much we eat. Look at the hand. It might lead you in the right direction.

Resource: The Secret To Serving Size Is In Your Hand,  colormehealthy.com.  It also provides a colorful picture print out for easy reference.