Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Portion Control - Halloween edition

It's Halloween, and you know what that means -  kids returning home with a big pillowcase or otherwise giant bag of scavenged treats.
Want to avoid this?
Have this?

After your little pillagers walk through the door, you probably temporarily confiscate their sugary plunder to check for tricks and unsafe candy. Consider this, loading up on candy is, in its own way, unsafe. I'm not advocating taking any candy away. Walking for a mile or so in an itchy costume is hard work and they have earned those goodies. But try portioning it out for them. Put 5 or so treats into a sandwich baggie and dole them out once a day. It's great since it makes Halloween last a little longer (always a good thing), avoids the sugar crash (and the resulting tantrums), and the tummy aches (because cleaning up throw up is definitely on the bottom of my todo list).

You can even bring the little ones in on it. Have them help you pick what treats go in which bags. My kids love stuffing things, so they get a kick out of counting then sorting the candy into little bags.

While this works especially well with young children, older kids might not be so enthused. This is where you have to decide what you want to teach as a parent. Portion control issues is one of the leading causes of obesity. I believe it's important to start early, teaching the right size meals and treats for their little bodies. So I suggest for older kids, talking to them what you're doing and why, then having them help decide how many candies go in each baggie.

So have a Happy Halloween from Finished being Fat. And remember, no snitching treats in between trick or treaters ringing the bell. (ok, maybe just 1 per hour. But that's it and only if you jog in place while you're chewing)

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Getting Back on the Carousel Horse

Today I went for a five mile run. It's the first time I've run in more than two months. Some of you know that I've been recovering from an injury. I cracked my kneecap hiking when I tripped and fell knee first on a rock.  Apparently, I'm still not the most graceful bull in the china shop.

For the past 2 weeks, I've been attempting to find time to start running again. Okay, in total honesty, it was less about time and a whole lot more about reluctance. The run was a long time in coming, and I was not excited in the least to try it. I just wasn't sure I wanted to put myself through pulled and torn muscles, like what happened during marathon training. More than that, I was just plain old scared.

But last night I thought of my daughter. A while ago, she fell off the horse at the carousel. She's been super skittish about it every since, flat out refusing another ride. Until we went to the zoo last month. They have a wild animal carousel, more specifically, one of the "horses" was a buffalo -- my daughter's favorite animal. I had to drag her off of that thing before the zoo closed.

She conquered her fear by going and doing. As adults, I think that we have more baggage to carry around, so it's harder to let go of it and grab that carousel horse  (or buffalo) with both hands. Whether it's getting back into fitness after a baby (read baby weight), or trying to lose weight for the 20th time after having regained it all back. This applies to coming back to anything and trying it again-- you feel like you're back at square one.

Don't start at that square one. Start on a triangle instead by looking at your goal in a completely different way. If you feel like maybe you've failed before... reset. Take a new path, one that starts with wherever you're at today and moves forward. It's not about what's happened before, it's about what's happening now. And as long as you keep going, you're succeeding.

My run today was slow, I think taking the carousel horse would have been faster. I was actually ready to turn around after the first half mile. But I kept going. I put those running shoes back on and became the horse. Time, pace, run or walk -- it doesn't really matter. It's all about the satisfaction of having completed what I set out to do.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

The Running of the Kindergartners

This morning I did another race... sort of. My daughter's school had a fundraising 5K run. The younger kids, like my daughter, Lily, ran one mile.

One mile is a long way on short kindergartner legs. Though everyone charged out of the gates like bulls, within half a block, we noticed one of Lily's little buddies falling behind. Last month, he had fallen off his bike or something. He said his back still hurt and he didn't want to run. In fact, he just wanted to go home.
Lily volunteered us to walk with him, so the three of us kept trucking down the street, hand in hand. Inevitably, we moved to the back of the pack.

Since the fun run was at 10:00 am, not everyone's mom could make it. I became the lonely straggler magnet, collecting the slow and left behind. At some point, I had gained charge of 6 kids, all holding hands across the width of the street.

At the half mile point, we were passed by the sixth graders on their second mile lap. One of my race buddies said he was sad because that meant he wasn't going to win. Lily, my little Jr  finisher, matter-of-factly explained that as long as we made it to the end, we would all win.

I darned near cried. It was one of the proudest moments I've had as a mother. This past year, I have worked so hard to instill the philosophy of finishing into my kids. I want them to have that firm foundation of self esteem that finishing brings. Not the wall of failures that I hid behind until I finally learned how to finish. Today is proof that my efforts are paying off. Lily corralled and encouraged our rag tag band of 5 and 6 year olds. At least until the finish line was in view, then the kids promptly took off at full speed to cross the flags.

There's something magical about a finish line. I know that even after running miles and miles, that sight gives me new strength to run faster and push a little farther.

So teach your kids to look for those finish lines in everything they do. Encourage that can do attitude with the philosophy of finishing, "Not everyone can win the race, but everyone can finish". Then they'll never feel like losers as long as they never give up.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Courage to keep going - Goal rush week 2

Today starts the second week of goal rush. If you have no idea what I'm talking about, check last weeks posts.

So how are you doing on your goal or goals? Now is a really good time to look at them and maybe adjust is needed. If one hour at the gym is just killing you, or it turns out that time is not on your side, maybe try making sure you get a half hour of some type of exercise. Mow the lawn, rake the leaves -- hit exercise and chores with one stone.

If you've stumbled a bit last week, (I've had my own blips as well) remember that we are not perfect people. The only way to lose goal rush is to give up and not even try. You can still succeed as long as you keep at it.

That is the whole point of the philosophy of finishing. Knowing that I might mess up, and that I won't be the best at something -- but pushing through to the finish. That means trying to reach those goals everyday, even if that pint of Ben and Jerry's found its way into my stomach somehow.

If it's tough, that's okay. Modify if you have to, but maintain your bravery and courage and do it anyway. At the end of the month I want all of my readers to look at the effort they've put in, not count all the days that they've messed up.

So keep it up. If you need some back up, friend me on Facebook and I'll be the nut cheering you on in the peanut gallery. Send me a line and let me know how I can help you.

Friday, October 19, 2012

The Definition of Brave


Ready to face and endure danger or pain; showing courage.


You might not guess this from meeting me, but it's true. People terrify me. Attribute it to years of being bullied, or whatever. But to this day, my teeth still chatter when I have to meet new people. And if the topic of conversation is me? Well, let's just say there had better be a bathroom nearby.

Today, my publisher called to say that a reporter wanted to do an interview with me about Finishing. I smiled (not that they could tell on the phone) and said I'd be happy to. Then I hung up and wanted to toss my cookies.

What if froze or sounded stupid? What if I ruined any possible chance for the book's success before it was even out?!

A mini freak out later, I called a very delightful reporter, by the name of Cody Clark from the Daily Herald. He asked some great questions about how to finish and reach your goals. Within minutes, my stomach unclenched and I was at ease talking about my passion -- finishing. The interview was actually fun, not really scary at all.

The point of this story is to talk about being brave. I'm going to disagree with For me, being brave is when there's something I don't want to do, or that scares the jellybeans out of me -- and I do it anyway. 

There's a lot of those moments on the way to reaching our goals. You can either turn tail and run for the safety under the bed, or close your eyes and step forward anyway. And when it's over, you might wonder what the big deal was in the first place -- like me with the interview. Or you still might be terrified. In the case of the latter, you get extra bonus stars and finishing it should be that much sweeter. 

Fighting lions and tigers sometimes isn't nearly as tough as fighting the demons that tell us that we can't. And to those of you that do battle with those negative voices everyday, you have my admiration and utmost respect. You are brave, and you totally rock.
File:Lion tamer (LOC pga.03749).jpg

Monday, October 15, 2012

Courage to start: Goal Rush Day 1

At yoga today, a friend pointed out that I can be a little scary sometimes. To be honest, he said he wanted to throw something at me. Sometimes, I forget that where I am now, is not where I was two years ago.

Shoe to the head taken.

The goals I listed in the last post are what's right for me at this stage in my life. Two years ago, my goal was to just wake up and crawl out from under the blanket. Then, maybe get through the day without cringing in the mirror. If I was super lucky, I might go outside.

When I look back at where I was then to where I am now, I get a little over excited. I want to share what's working for me now, and I forget what it was like to cry at the mere thought of signing up to go to a gym. Let alone workout for a whole hour at one.

But that's the great thing about Finished being Fat. Wherever you are right now, is the perfect place to be today. Whether you can run 10 miles or walk for ten minutes. Maybe even wanting to walk for ten minutes is an improvement.

So I'm going to start giving a few different levels of advice, because it takes time to work up to the big goals sometimes. And the little ones are every bit as important and get you that big satisfaction of finishing. If choosing three goals this month is a little scary or intimidating ... try one. Maybe make an effort to park in the farthest spot away from the door. Or take the stairs at work instead of the elevator. Try looking in the mirror and saying one nice thing about yourself.

Remember that starting small can lead to big things. Or in the case of pants size, smaller things. Sometimes the hardest part of making a change is having the courage to start. The next step is finding the courage and will to finish.

Start with me. Finish with me.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Goal Rush - October

You're invited! Join me in a Goal Rush. That's where you pick 3 food and or fitness goals and achieve them during the month.

When you're picking which goals, make sure you choose something you can control. For example, making it a goal to lose 5 lbs this month would not be a good choice. You can't control what your body is going to do. Instead decide not exceed your calorie budget of X per day. Then the weight is likely to follow, but regardless, you will have succeeded in following through with your promises.

Pick 3 things that will lead to improved health and promote good behaviors. Here are mine:
No food after 6:30 pm
At least an hour a day of exercise
Eat at least one fruit or veggie with each meal

The key to success is making sure you promise to live these goals every day. Then at the end of the day, give yourself credit for a job well done. Each night you should feel the glow of accomplishment that you have lived up to your word -- to yourself.

Here's another success tip: accountability. Declare it to the world. Make sure your friends and family know what you're doing. Please, use the comment section on this blog to lay out your goals.

Goal Rush is Oct 15 - Nov 15. Just in time to get into healthy habits before the holidays.

I'm also starting a Finished being Fat page on FaceBook. I want it to be a place for news and updates, but also a supportive community for advice and love as you work to reach your goals in life.

See you there and good luck on your Goal Rushes!!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Snack Smart: Egg-cellent protein

Remember those commercials -- The incredible edible egg? This food is often slammed for cholesterol, but it has good fats as well as a complete protein with a full compliment of amino acids.

I am not advocating swallowing a half dozen raw eggs or anything, but a couple, hard boiled or scrambled, makes for an excellent small meal. Or add lots of spinach or fresh veggies to make an omelette. Be sure to skip the greasy butter.

Whenever possible, try to use organic or farm fresh eggs. From chickens not fed antibiotics or steroids. Here's what I collected from my gorgeous gals this morning. Perfect dinner for me and my two kids. And easy enough that even I can't screw up the cooking :)

Monday, October 8, 2012

Color Me Rad - A gateway race for fitness and fun

So this past week, I had the opportunity to be in Knoxville, Tennessee to help set up and organize things for the Color Me Rad 5k. For anybody not familiar with Color Me Rad, it's an awesome no pressure, maximum fun run where the racers get pelted with colored dust. And at the end, everyone gets their own "color bomb" to throw in a big color toss.

It's a great chance to get a group of friends and family and show off your best "character."
You start out clean, and then after 3.1 mile, you look like you were caught in a Skittles factory explosion.
To show you, I took a photo of a really neat set of newlyweds. As in, just got married the night before.

Looks like a pretty "rad" start to the honeymoon.

When I give presentations on weight loss and fitness, alot of people I talk to don't want to run because they think it's too competitive and they are slow. Well, I want to tell you that's not a valid excuse. There are races like this all around the country -- family friendly-strollers-welcome, come as you are or want to be, and if you try to get a personal record on the course - we might just throw extra color to slow you down.

This event is all about everything I teach with the philosophy of finishing. Finish what you start, get those 3.1 miles behind you, and have the best time possible while you are doing it.  Then you'll have rainbow boogers and earwax for a few days as a bonus.

If you want more info about Color Me Rad races or to find one near you, visit

I invite you to join me in St. George, Utah for another fun time in early November. Tickets are available now.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Not So Great Expectations

The diet culture in America has so many myths and lies, it's nearly impossible to navigate.  The one I believe is the most damaging -- the idea that if we just diet and exercise, we can all look like Kate Beckinsdale. Or for the guys, if you lift enough, you can be ripped like Gerard Butler in the movie 300.  And if you don't look like that, then you are not trying hard enough.

Surprise, these not so great expectations are often make your diet efforts stall. Or reverse. We need to understand that our bodies are all different. Not just metabolism and whatnot. But our healthy and ideal selves. Some body types will always be hippy. Some will be sticks with no curves no matter what.  And that's okay. Be healthy. Get your body into a place where it functions well. Where you burn fuel efficiently and have good fitness.

So stop expecting what will never be and look forward to what you have ahead as a healthier person. And then love whatever that looks like. Even if you've can't get that 6 pack. Or that flat tummy after the 2 kids.

I challenge you to have the courage to start. Even if you've failed a hundred times before. Approach it differently, with no goal of supermodeldom. You can succeed and finish being fat, find a healthier lifestyle, and still not be a barbie clone. I promise.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Snack Smart: Dessert Budget

Anyone who has ever tried to go without sugar or treats can probably tell you... it doesn't last very long. And if you fall off the dessert wagon, it can be a rough landing. Here's an idea to try.

Within your daily budget (caloric budget) allot 100-200 calories at the end of the day for your favorite treat. (chocolate!!) but there's a catch. If you blow your budget by the end of the day, and don't have enough calories left in your bank... no treat for you. Reward yourself for sticking to your goals and calorie count. And you are having just the right sized portion too.

Sometimes, this is what helps me resist the chips or the extra big lunch -- knowing that at the end of the day, I have a favorite goodie waiting for me.


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