Get Healthy

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

You look great NAKED!!!

 As we approach the end of the year, and begin to reflect on what 2013 has looked like for us…what we accomplished…what we didn't…and what we still want to achieve, let's revisit one of my first blogs.  This was written last January, but I think the information so important that I wanted to republish it (in an edited and updated format of course).  

With regards to your body, I want to ask you a very important question:  "When you walk past a mirror NAKED, how do you feel about what you see?"  

My guess is that if you're like about 90% of the rest of the world, you'd rather speak in public than look at yourself naked in a mirror.  Why?  Let me guess…you are carrying a "few extra pounds?"…"you just need to hit the gym more?"…"you need to say 'no' to unhealthy food choices that find their way to your waistline?"  

Are these the same exact issues that plagued you on January 1st of this year?  Did you have a New Year's resolution to change?  …to get fit?  …to lose weight?  …to stop smoking?  …to get into a smaller size?  Well…you've had almost a full 12 months to achieve it…what's kept you from reaching your dreams?  I think the #1 reason that people finish up 2013 in the same boat that they began it in, is that they never truly managed to grasp the concept of making a lifestyle change.  Their intentions were good…they may have even started strong, but life got in the way, they got busy, stress complicated everything, and their good intentions only lasted until about February 18th.  …sound familiar?  Well, let's talk about what it takes to make a lifestyle change.  

First let's look at what a lifestyle change is:  it is modifying or eliminating long-held habits of eating or physical activity and maintaining the new habits over months and years.  Since many of us have tried, and failed numerous times before to bring about healthy changes in our lives, this can be an intimidating journey to begin.  I think the most crucial element is simply that you begin.  Success lies in taking small, sustainable steps toward lasting, doable changes for the betterment of your health.  There are several things to consider for the successful implementation of the changes that you want to make...let's look at them:

Identify your priorities and commitments 

Write down exactly what it is that you want to do/change.  Remember that the things that you spend the most time on, are the things that are the most important to you.  If you want to make exercise a consistent part of your life, then schedule it into your day...make an appointment with other words, make it a priority.  

Make sure that the change is something that YOU want 

This is all about YOU, and for one else.  Why do you want to make the change(s)?  What is your motivation?  Really think about that, and then mentally hold on to that reason/motivation...this is what will help you to keep going when you feel like quitting.  I call this, "knowing your why".

Make sure that you feel good about the changes that you're making 

If this is going to be sustainable, you need to embrace it, and be passionate about it.  If you decide that you want to eat healthier, then clean out your fridge and pantry and eliminate foods that aren't healthy...celebrate that fun music while you're doing "shoot the hoop" with the unhealthy food into the garbage can...make it as fun and enjoyable as possible.

Make small, progressively changing goals 

I don't want you to change everything overnight...that would be almost impossible to stick to for the long haul.  I recommend that when you are identifying your priorities, that you then break each item down into smaller "bite sized" changes.  For example:  "I want to eat healthier."  Okay, start by cleaning out the unhealthy food items from your kitchen (if it's not can't eat it).  The next step (week two) might be, eliminating all products with artificial sweeteners and sugar.  You might then progress to cutting out all processed foods (week three).  See where I'm going with this?  Make your changes progressive...that will make your lifestyle change easier to adhere to.

Finally, don't beat yourself up if you have a day where you slip back into your old habits...the key is to get back into your new lifestyle as quickly as possible.  Once you begin to feel how good it feels to feel good, you won't want to go back to the "old you".  Your body will reward your changes with more energy, feeling better...lighter...healthier.  Friends will comment on how amazing you takes time, but trust me, people will notice.  YOU CAN DO THIS...and you'll be happy that you did!

If you need a more structure approach, I am an ACE certified Personal Trainer and an ACE certified Health Coach.  I train my clients in one of two ways:  face-to-face or online.  Face-to-face sessions work well for those who live in the Jacksonville area.  My Online Personal Trainer is something that I'm very proud of.  I searched long and hard for a web-based platform that would do all the things that I wanted it to do.  I found one that is available to you, both on your laptop, and your tablet and smart phone.  I personally filmed each and every exercise that you might be assigned.  I personally create each and every workout that you will do, and I personally progress those workouts as you gain strength, endurance, and confidence.  I personally Skype with each of my clients twice a month to discuss successes, challenges, and food journals.  …and I am personally available to answer unlimited questions that you might have via email.  You will receive an email every day, telling you what your workout is for the day, and I receive one letting me know if you completed it…so there is a level of accountability.  My Online Personal Trainer is available through the end of the year for only $59/month, and I also have end-of-year specials for my face-to-face training sessions.  For more information, please feel free to check out my website or email me at  

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Tis The Season

Well my friends, like it or not, the holiday season is upon us.  For most this is a time of getting together with family and friends…decorating…shopping…exchanging gifts…sending cards…baking…cooking…and eating…A LOT.  With a busier than normal schedule, most of us are forced to "take something off our plate"…something has to go, there's just not enough hours in a day!  Right?  Sadly, the thing that usually goes is taking care of ourselves…our bodies…making time to exercise…eating healthy…taking our supplements…resting…detoxing…relaxing…breathing.

More often than not, the holidays are a swift and hurtful "one-two punch" that leave us staggering in disbelief in January when we step on the scale, or try to button our favorite pair of jeans.  …BUT alas my friends…I bring you good news and great cheer!!!!  The holidays don't have to steal a year of diet and exercise success like the Grinch stole Christmas from Whoville.  Listen to me carefully…YOU CAN MAKE IT SUCCESSFULLY THROUGH THE HOLIDAYS WITHOUT GAINING WEIGHT AND LOSING YOUR MIND!

Okay, so most of these you probably already know, but when we get overwhelmed, we need reminders to keep us on the right track.  You don't want to undo and entire year's worth of a healthy lifestyle in just 6 short weeks:

  • Make sure that you get 6-8 good hours of sleep each night
  • When going to parties, don't deprive yourself of the tempting "yummies", BUT only have a bite or two (remember NOTHING TASTES AS GOOD AS BEING FIT FEELS)
  • Eat a healthy "meal" before you head out to a party (small grilled chicken salad, broiled fish and vegi's, a protein shake…something healthy that will fill your tummy up)
  • Drink alcohol if you must, BUT in moderation (drink a glass of water in between each alcoholic beverage, use water or tonic as your mixer, avoid getting sucked into the "shot" trap…just say "no" it's okay…really).  IF YOU CHOSE TO DRINK, PLEASE DON'T DRIVE…IT'S JUST NOT WORTH IT, AND A TAXI IS CHEAPER THAN A DUI…OR A DEATH.
  • Put your supplements on your kitchen or bathroom counter in plain sight so you don't forget to take them
  • Schedule yourself as an appointment on your calendar for exercise (you can find 30-40 minutes a day if you really want to…I promise)
  • Sneak in ADDITIONAL exercise (park in the furthest spot when shopping, take the stairs, get a mini-workout in during TV commercials, take a walk at lunch)
  • Drink lots and lots of water…no seriously…LOTS of water (carry a bottle in your purse and your car so you never have an excuse to drink something loaded with sugar)
  • Eliminate soda, sugary processed foods, high fat processed foods, anything that has ingredients that you can't pronounce, fancy expensive coffees, office treats in little bowls (you're not a dog…you don't need a treat every time you go to the bathroom!)
  • Eat your vegi's…AT EVERY MEAL (yes, even breakfast….sneak some spinach or peppers and onions into your scrambled eggs, or some spinach into your protein shake…and NO potatoes don't count as a vegi, so skip the hash browns)
  • Replace one meal a day with a good quality protein shake (watch the amount of sugar in your shake)
  • When you're not going to a party, if you MUST have something sweet, then let it be fruit…whole, real, unprocessed fruit.
  • Keep an "emergency snack" in your purse and/or car (a good quality, low sugar protein bar, or bag of unsalted unprocessed nuts) 
  • Since stress causes weight gain, try to relax (treat yourself to relaxing bubble baths after your workouts or a hard day…spoil yourself with a pedicure or massage…read a book and sip on some green tea)

Now, for those of you who haven't yet started living a "healthy lifestyle", but you're waiting for that "magical" day (January 1st) to arrive, I would ask you why you would put off for tomorrow what you can do today?  The choice is yours…you can make some changes to your diet and activity level and get through the holidays without gaining any weight, or you can start on January 1st trying to lose the 10 lbs that you gained over the holidays PLUS the other 20 that you put on throughout the year…is it worth it?  It just takes a little planning on your part, but what an amazing gift it would be to YOU, if you got to January 1, and you had actually LOST 10 lbs…and without much sacrifice!  YOU  CAN DO THIS!  START TODAY!!!

From now until the end of the year, I'm running a special on my Online Personal Trainer…4 months for the price of 3!  That makes the cost of training with me only $59 a month!!!!  With my Online Personal Trainer, I train you.  You have access to me pretty much 24/7 with emails.  We Skype twice a month to talk about your challenges, successes, and to go over your food journal.  I created this program so I could reach, teach, and impact the lives of as many women as possible…irregardless of where you live, whether or not you can get a babysitter, whether or not you have access to a gym, whether or not you travel…you can still train with ME.   I PERSONALLY filmed each and every exercise that I assign in my workouts so you can see exactly how to perform the exercise for maximum benefit and injury prevention.  I PERSONALLY customize each of your workouts to your current fitness level, taking into consideration any injuries that you may have had.  I PERSONALLY create progressive workouts so your body never has a change to plateau.  You receive an email EVERY SINGLE DAY letting you know what your workout is for that day.  I receive an email EVERY SINGLE DAY letting me know if you've completed your assigned workout for the day.  This is a great way for you to take advantage of my knowledge and experience, and lose weight in the process.  I'll be there with you EVERY STEP OF THE WAY!  I WANT YOU TO BE SUCCESSFUL!  I WANT YOU TO ENJOY LIVING YOUR LIFE AGAIN.  I WANT YOU TO GET YOUR SEXY BACK!!!!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013


As a Personal Trainer and Health Coach, one of the excuses that I hear most often for not exercising while traveling is that people don't have the necessary equipment to get their workout in.  ...well, I'm going to tell you that that, my friend, is nothing more than a cop out!

My clients that use my Online Personal Trainer know that when they're traveling, I will assign them a workout to do that requires absolutely NO equipment...all body weight.  I've personally done the workout when I was traveling, and I would challenge anyone to do it and say that they didn't get a good workout from it!

Here's the gist of the workout (video instructions can be found on my Online Personal Trainer):

Jumping Jacks (30 - 50)
Leg Raises with Hip Thrust or Bicycle Crunches (12 - 30)
Sumo Squat with Side Leg Raises (10 - 12 on each side)
Inch Worm (with Push-Up at bottom for increased intensity) (5 - 10)
Wall Sit (30 - 60 seconds)
Push Up (10 - 20)
Walking Lunge (10 - 12 on each side)
Tricep Dip or Pike Push-Up (10 - 40)
Burpee (10 - 15)
Plank Tuck Extension (8 - 12 on each side)

Exercises should be completed with minimal rest in between, and as a Superset.  Once you've completed all exercises, rest for 1 - 2 minutes, and repeat 2 - 3 times.

The benefit of this type of workout is that you get your strength training AND your cardio all in one super effective, efficient workout.  This type of training is known as, High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT).  Due to the way the workout is done, it creates one of the highest metabolic burns (and afterburn) of any workout out there.

I've also created workouts that use hand weights, balls, bands, slides, and the TRX system.  If you are considering beginning a workout program, please make sure that you start off slowly.  Understand that you WILL BE sore...probably very sore for the first week, but this is your body making the changes that you want.  Be patient because only modest reductions in body weight (about 2 - 3%) will happen in the beginning of an exercise program.  According to studies, "...literature suggests that diet plus exercise, rather than diet only or exercise only, produces significantly greater weight loss at 12+ months.  Even though the scale might not be going down as fast as you'd like, you have to know that you are creating YOUR health from the inside WILL notice your clothes fitting better, and other people will comment that your face looks thinner...don't stop...keep it up, and you'll get to where you want to be! didn't gain the weight won't lose it overnight either.

If you're interested in my Online Personal Trainer, you can find more information, and a short video on my website:  For less than $2.80 a day you'll receive customized, progressive workouts, daily accountability, and weekly check-in calls from me personally.  If you start now, you'll be well ahead of those making a New Year's resolution to "get fit"...heck, I'll even go as far as saying that you'll look great in your holiday holiday parties, and you'll feel sexier on New Year's Eve!  So why not start your fitness journey now?  What do you have to lose...except for fat and weight?  GET YOUR SEXY BACK!!!!  

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Your Weight, Your Fat, and Your Health

Wait!!!  What's the big deal with weight???  We get so hung up on the number on the scale, when it doesn't even reveal the true picture to us.  Your bathroom scale can only measure your body mass in pounds (or kilograms), but is completely indifferent to your body composition.  A scale can make someone seem overweight...even if they are not over fat, and vice-versa.  You see, a scale can not possibly tell you what you body's fat mass (or lean mass) is.  It is important to point out that anyone trying to lose "weight" is really trying to lose fat...not necessarily weight.

Let's take a closer look at body composition, which is the number that you should be looking at to determine if you "fall within a healthy range", determine if you need to lose fat, or to see if the "weight" you've recently lost is fat or lean mass.  This is especially important because "dieting" often leads to a loss of fat-free weight and water, and this is why dieting alone is not conducive to creating the lean, toned looking body that most people seek.  In order to lose fat, you MUST combine a healthy diet WITH exercise (especially strength training).

Let's also take a close look as to why during a weight loss program (combining diet and exercise), there are times when weight loss slows, stops, or even reverses.  Now read this carefully...despite the fact that your weight loss may have slowed, stopped, or that you may have gained a few pounds, you still can be loosing fat and gaining lean body mass. 

Click on the following photo as a reference to see more detail on fat loss.

The magic number that we need to look at here is your body fat percentage.  A healthcare professional, or Personal Trainer should be able to give you a fairly accurate, quick assessment of what your body fat is.  Once we know that number, we can determine how much body fat you need to lose to be within a healthy range, and ultimately deduce approximately what your weight should be.  Let's do the math so you can see what I'm talking about:

Tom is a 49 year old man who weighs 212 lbs, and has an estimated BF% (body fat) of 21.3%.  His goal is to reach a BF% of 17% (which is in the "healthy" range for him).

     STEP 1 -  100% - BF% = Lean Mass %
                      100% - 21.3% = 78.7%

     STEP 2 -  Body weight x Lean Mass % = Lean Mass
                       212 lbx x .787 = 167 lbs Lean Mass

     STEP 3 -  100% - Desired BF% = Desired Lean Mass %
                       100% - 17% = 83%

     STEP 4 -  Lean Body Mass/Desired Lean Body Mass % = Desired Body Weight
                       167 lbs / .83 = 201 lbs

So you can see that the weight corresponding to the desired BF% of 17% is equal to 201 lbs for Tom.  With regular aerobic activity, resistance training, and dietary management, he would need to lose approximately 11 lbs of fat weight to reach his goal of 17% BF.

I know this was technical, and I hope I explained it thoroughly enough so that it helps you see why the number on the scale isn't the only number that you need to look at.  Find someone who can give you an estimation of what your BF% is, and then you can do the math for yourself to see where your "healthy" weight is.  You should also know that for women, a BF% between 15-31% is considered acceptable...anything over 31% is considered obese.  For men, a BF% between 12-24% is considered acceptable...anything over 25% is considered obese.

If you need help with your body composition assessments, losing fat weight, and getting on a consistent exercise and nutritionally sound eating plan, contact me.  You can also check out my Online Personal Trainer at  For less than $20 a week you have access to me, as your very own Personal Trainer and Health Coach.  Reclaim your health and get your sexy back!

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Being "Fit" is About So Much More Than Not Being Fat

Most women struggle their entire lives to love the beautiful body that they have.  This struggle starts in our early, pre-adolescent years.  We are barraged with pictures in magazines, of beautiful, thin women. Our perception of what is attractive...what is beautiful...what is desirable, is subconsciously handed to us by advertisers...selling their wares...selling us on the idea that what they have will make us happy...that what they have will make us desirable...that what they have will make us beautiful.  THIS MAKES ME MAD!!!!

I'm going to be completely with you here.  I've spent most of my life trying to be what magazines and TV told me that I should be, and trying to look like they told me I should look.  I've spend thousands of dollars on therapists.  I've spent way too many hours self-loathing.  I've spent countless days feeling insecure.  I've spent most of my life hating my own body.  ...and sadly, even today, as I write, I still struggle with all of these things...and I'm not alone!  Most of my girlfriends and female family members...most of my clients...most of the women that I come into contact with on a daily basis have the same struggles.

As a Personal Trainer and Wellness Coach, I ask myself, "When are we going to realize that our beauty...our happiness...our worth is not to be found in our appearance?"  You are SO much more than the size you wear!  You are SO much more than the number on the scale!  When are we going to realize that women's bodies are supposed to have sexy curves...and healthy, toned muscles?  ...we're NOT supposed to look like a 12 year old girl!!!  When are we going to realize that society's definition of "beauty" is skewed by what advertisers want you to buy, wear, think, and eat?

I train so many beautiful women, and they are beautiful, not because of the size they wear, but because of the soul within them.  They are mothers, wives, sisters, daughters...they are smart, funny, creative, kind...they are dedicated, hard-working, inspiring, and loyal.  They come to me, many of them, looking to lose weight so they can "look better", "feel sexy", "wear a smaller size", "be attractive to their husband", or "look pretty on their wedding day".  What I try to teach them, is that while I know how important those things are to them, their health and longevity are even more important.  But so often, their underlying desire is to be "skinny" ANY cost.

I'm here to tell you that "skinny", "thin", model-looking bodies aren't necessarily healthy bodies.  I'm here to tell you that your ultimate goal should be to be "fit", rather than to be "skinny".  We've all seen "skinny" people who are fighting a terminal illness...we've all seen "thin" people who are battling the demons of addiction...we've all seen "models" bodies that appear to be perfect, but don't often see the photo-shopping, the starvation, the extreme measures necessary to achieve that look.


My challenge to you is this:

  • If you are filling your body with junk food, and chemically processed towards eliminating those unhealthy foods, and replacing them with healthy, whole foods
  • If you are towards finding some form of exercise that will get your body moving, and keep you moving as you age (MOTION IS LOTION for your joints)
  • If you have any addictions, or harbor an unhealthy or hurtful professional help
  • If you have diseases that are a direct result of your weight, eating habits, and overall health...THEN FOR CRYIN' OUT LOUD DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT BEFORE IT'S TOO LATE!  This may sound harsh, but you WILL die a premature death if you continue to damage your body!

Remember that advertisers, who pay hundreds of thousands of dollars for the placement of their product, do NOT define NOT define NOT define health...YOU DO!  You define health how you CHOOSE to live, and by how you CHOOSE to treat your body!

If you need help to restore your health, and in getting your sexy back, I can help...I want to help.  If you are unable to train with me (or anyone else) in person, please take a look at my Online Personal Trainer.  It's a program that I am proud to offer!  For LESS THAN the weekly cost of your morning coffee...or your weekly fast-food purchases, you can be on your road to being HEALTHY and FIT. plan is LESS THAN $20 PER WEEK!!!  I will design a customized workout program for you, you will receive daily emails reminding you of your workout, we will talk via Skype once a week (to go over challenges, successes, modifications to your program, and to talk about your food choices), I will be progressing/changing up your workouts so your body doesn't have a chance to plateau, and you will have unlimited e-mail access to me.  Save the money you're spending on junk, and how about spending it to save your life instead???

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Be Sneaky and EAT!!!

Let's talk about how you can sneak more activity into your busy day, and what a healthy snack looks like.  These are both topics that I, as a Personal Trainer and Health Coach, get a lot of questions about.  So here's what I tell my clients:


(1) It really is best to exercise in the   morning...for several reasons:
 -you get it out of the way before     life and excuses steal your opportunity to workout
 -your metabolism is burning at a higher rate ALL day long after a workout
 -you have more energy throughout your day
-it can actually help to regulate your appetite
-it improves sleep...yes you read that right (sometimes exercise at night can have the opposite effect)

(2) You can "sneak" in exercise throughout the day:

-park your car in the spot furthest away from your entrance
-take the steps instead of the elevator
-while watching TV, make commercials your "workout time"
-always have a packed gym bag in your car, so you have no excuses to skip your workout
-in airports, walk to your terminal instead of taking the train or people mover


Almost daily I get asked for suggestions for healthy snacks.  Here are some quick suggestions:

-a protein bar (my favorites are Luna Bars and Picky Bars)
-some hummus and vegi's
-greek yogurt and organic granola
-a hard boiled egg (I keep them peeled, and ready to eat in a baggie in my fridge)
-an apple and a cheese stick
-peanut butter and a banana
-a protein shake (my favorite is Arbonne vanilla with frozen fruit)
-almonds, raisins, and dark chocolate chips mixed together
-slice bananas, top with a small dab of Nutella, drizzle with dark chocolate and freeze
-Late July brand Sweet Potato chips with peanut butter or hummus
-cottage cheese with tomatoes and cucumbers
-watermelon and cantaloupe
-frozen blueberries or frozen grapes
-Terra Chips Sweets and Apples

I always tell my clients to eat a small snack on their way to meet me, and on their way home.  Why?  Eating before a workout not only helps your blood sugar to remain stable, but it will help your body to burn fat, rather than breaking down the hard-earned muscle that you're trying to build.  Eating after a workout will help your muscles to recover more quickly, and some studies indicate that it may help your muscles to not get as sore post workout.

You really can sneak more calorie burning activity easily into your day, AND you can snack healthier.  By doing both, you will be well on your way to creating the body that you've been working for...and your overall health will improve.

If you need help creating a workout program, nutritional guidance, and accountability and motivation, look no further than my Online Personal Trainer.  All programs are customized to your current fitness level, but I don't stop there, as you gain strength and cardiac endurance, I progress your workouts so your body never has a chance to plateau.  You will receive daily emails telling you what your 30-40 minute workout is for the day, I receive notification as to whether or not you've completed your prescribed workout, and we have weekly Skype calls to discuss challenges, successes, and your food journal.  This is available to you for LESS THAN $20 A WEEK (I bet you waste more than that on your unhealthy habits...)

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

What's The Definition of Insanity?

We all know the definition of insanity...repeatedly doing the same thing, but expecting different results.

Let me ask you a few questions:

  • Did you start off the year by making a New Year's resolution to "get in shape"or "lose weight"?
  • How many diets have you already been on this year alone?
  • How many weeks have you promised yourself that you're going to "eat good" and exercise every day?
If you're like over 40% of Americans, you begin each year by making at least one New Year's resolution.  ...and, if you're like over 88% of those same fail at reaching your goal.  The vast majority of New Year's resolutions stem from lifestyle changes (eating healthy, exercising, getting in shape, quitting smoking, etc.)

If you're like over 45 million Americans, you've been on AT LEAST one diet this year, and have contributed to the over $33 million spent annually on the quest to lose weight and get in shape.  With 2/3's of the American adult population being overweight, the weight loss industry is booming, and raking in the cash as this growing group continues to try to find the "magic pill".

Sadly, and despite the growing girth of Americans, only 5% are actively pursuing ways to get moderate-to-vigerous bouts of exercise into their daily routines.  ...AND in a recent study, 90% (yes 90%) of Americans stated that they "eat healthy"!!!  Ok, we've got to be honest with ourselves here...if 90% of Americans were eating healthy, do you think that 2/3's of the adult population would be considered obese or overweight?

Here's where the insanity part comes in...EVERY SINGLE DAY someone tells me that they want to lose weight, get fit, eat healthy, yet those same people are unwilling to make an investment in their lives to take the necessary steps to bring the desired changes into place.  I hear excuse, after excuse, after excuse.  "Eating healthy is too expensive"...oh yeah...have you tried being ill because of the crap that you're filling your body with???  "I just don't have time for exercise"...really...but you have time for TV, and Facebook, and Candy Crush???  "I can't find it in my budget to afford a Personal Trainer"...hmmmmm...but you can find it in your budget to go through the drive-thru at McDonalds, order that Venti Cafe Mocha every morning, and keep buying new clothes because the one's you have no longer fit you!!!

Come on much is your health worth to you?

  • How much is it worth to you to be able to see your children grow up and have children of their own?  
  • How much is it worth to you to be able to play with your kids (or grandkids) and not be gasping for breath?  
  • How much is it worth to you to be able to look and feel amazing in your wedding dress, and see his eyes tear up at that first glance of his beautiful, fit bride walking down the isle? 
  • How much is it worth to you to be able to go to your class reunion and wear the SAME size that you wore in high school?  
  • How much is it worth to you to be able to feel confident and sexy in your bathing suit...or naked?  
  • How much is it worth to you to not have to sit on the sidelines of life, and watch it pass you by because you're too out of shape to be an active participant in your own life?
How long will you continue doing the same things that you've been doing...for lose weight and get in shape...with NO results?  What's it going to take to really motivate you...a heart attack...diabetes...a stroke...high blood pressure...cancer?  When will you decide that you're going to do whatever it matter the cost in time or money...BECAUSE YOUR LIFE IS WORTH IT?!?!

Here's my suggestion to you...IF, and only IF, you're sick and tired of spinning your wheels...wasting your time and money...and not getting the results you want:

(1) Clean out your pantry and refrigerator...if it's not in your house, you can't eat it.
(2) Restock your pantry and refrigerator with: lean, low-fat proteins, vegetables, and fruits.
(3) STOP eating fast foods...the drive thru is NOT your friend!
(4) Hire a Personal Trainer (at least for a month or two) to get you going in the right direction

***Don't read past this point if you're not interested in stopping the insanity***
This is NOT a sales pitch!  I don't care what Personal Trainer you find, but find one!  I train clients in-person - a package costs $490 for 10 sessions (in "Personal Training world" that's pretty inexpensive).  But, because so many people told me that they either couldn't afford that, lived too far away to train with me in person, travel too much to see a trainer on a regular basis, or would just rather exercise at home (for whatever reason), I created my Online Personal Trainer.  It's the same service that I provide in-person, except it's online (or via an app on your smart phone).  My online plan is 12 weeks, and costs LESS THAN $20 A WEEK (ummmm your drive-thru runs and lattes cost more than THAT...and where are they getting you?!?!)

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Back To The Basics

A whole month has passed since my last blog...shame on me!  To be honest though, so much stuff rattles around in my head on a daily basis that I tend to dismiss most of it as unimportant.  My husband always tells me that the stuff that I tell him about weight/fat loss, nutrition, clean eating, health, and fitness are important...I just assume that everyone else already knows the stuff I know.  So, I've decided to take some of the topics back to the basics, and if I get questions about them, then I'll use a future blog to expand on them.

So let's talk about exercise:

Why do we do it, and what are the benefits?

Well, simply put, motion is lotion for your body.  Movement does several important things:

  • It keeps your joints from getting stiff
  • It burns calories
  • It releases endorphins to improve your mood
  • It has been proven to be as effective as taking an anti-depressant
  • It keeps your body flexible as you age, so you won't be dependent on someone else to care for you
  • It keeps your heart strong (cardiac endurance) so you can actively participate in your own life
  • It promotes balance which assists in daily activities as we age
  • It builds attractive, lean muscle which gives your body an overall toned look

Now on to our eating habits:

Our modern diet is so filled with processed junk!  If you read a nutrition label on food packaging, the vast majority of the ingredients you can't even pronounce!  We eat what's fast...we eat what tastes good...we eat what's convenient.  We have been programmed by food manufacturers, who by the way, have scientists working for them to create foods that will cause you to crave more of them...just so they can sell more of them!  We have a food supply that is laden with antibiotics, chemicals, pesticides, and toxins...yet we just continue to fill our bodies with them...AND EXPECT THEM TO BE HEALTHY AND NOT GET SICK!  Am I the only one who thinks this is CRAZY!


If you want to be healthy.  If you want nature's energy.  If you want to feel good.  It's not rocket science.  The vast majority of food that you consume on a daily basis is, to be quite blunt, a chemical shit storm!  I know that may sound harsh, but if I can wake just one person up, to see the light, then my words haven't fallen on deaf ears.  If you don't want to change your eating habits, go ahead and put the junk in your body and make your body sick, but for cryin' out loud, don't your children deserve better????

We ALL have a choice to eat healthy, or not.  The foods you eat will be directly reflected in the way your body looks and feels.  If you're obese or over-weight, don't tell me you eat healthy!  Your body tells the story about exactly what is put into it...

Here's what I'm suggesting if you want to start eating healthier (don't try to change everything at once - you'll be miserable, and you're family will revolt)

  • If you can't pronounce it...don't put it in your mouth
  • Cut back on your sugar consumption (it's the largest toxin that we consume on a daily basis)
  • Absolutely eliminate artificial sweeteners (I could go on all day about the side effects)
  • Buy organic for the "Dirty Dozen" (this will reduce the amounts of pesticides that you ingest from vegetables and fruits)
  • Buy meats, eggs, and dairy that are organic (this will cut down on the amount of antibiotics and hormones that you ingest) 
  • Cut back on the amount of wheat, corn, and soy (largely GMO's and have been found to be upsetting to most digestive tracts)
  • Avoid fast food (one of the worst calorie culprits...and it's the cheapest of cheap products, only animal food is of lower quality)
  • Avoid calorie dense, nutrient deficient, processed, packaged sweets (candy, pastries, cookies, pies, cakes, etc.)
  • Increase your water consumption
  • Increase your high-quality protein and produce consumption
So...long and short of it is, you need BOTH a clean diet and exercise to lose weight and be healthy.  My goal is not to help people get skinny, but to help people become more healthy and fit.  I want to help people make the rest of their lives, the best of their life...I want people to feel sexy in their own skin...I want people to achieve a fitness level that will allow them to actively participate in their own life, and not sit on the side lines and watch.

I just started a new Online Personal Trainer program, and if you need additional guidance, motivation, education, I can help. *** FOR LESS THAN $20 A WEEK, I will design a workout program SPECIFICALLY for you...for your fitness level...for your fitness goals, and we will talk weekly about your eating habits, successes, and challenges.***  You are worth the investment of $20 a week...heck, you waste that much (or more) a week on junk food!

If you have any questions about any of the topics covered today, leave a comment...let's get some dialog going, other people may have the same questions/concerns.

Be well!  Be blessed!  Be fit!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

How Bad Do You Want It?

This blog may be a little hard for some to digest, and quite honestly, it may ruffle a few feathers.  For the last 7+ months, I've been passionately trying to spread the word about various health and fitness topics. I've been trying to be the beacon of light shinning down on good information, in a world where it can be difficult to sift through what's good...what's true...what's right.  I've tried to provide motivation and inspiration to those looking for answers in reclaiming their health...and restoring their swagger.  But here's what I want to tell you...All the good information in the world won't help you change your life and your health by just reading it...ACTION MUST BE TAKEN.

Here's what you need to know:

  • Weight loss is NOT easy
  • Exercise IS hard
  • Making healthy food choices is NOT fun
  • Results DON'T happen overnight
  • Your patience WILL be tried
  • Commitment IS required
  • Talking about it WON'T make it happen
  • Reading about it DOESN'T make it so
  • There is NO magic solution

So this is the hard's time to put your money where your mouth is...HOW BAD DO YOU WANT IT?  Whatever your "it" bad do you REALLY want it????  This "IT" that I want to talk about is your health...your fitness level...your weight.  See, nothing in life just happens...where you are today in your life is a direct result of choices that you've made.  I know, I know, this can be hard to hear...and even harder to embrace.  But the moment that you acknowledge that you are where you are because of YOU...then that's the exact moment that you can take ownership of making new choices, based on a new future...the one that you want.  

Let's talk about the ramifications of poor health choices:
  • A staggering 2/3's of the adult population of the U.S. is overweight or obese
  • Obesity is not just's a health hazard.
  • Overweight persons are TWICE as likely to die prematurely, than a normal weight person
  • Poor health costs $576 TRILLION annually
Let's look at the myriad of diseases that are directly related to obesity and being overweight:
  • Coronary Heart Disease
  • High Blood Pressure
  • Stroke
  • Type 2 Diabetes
  • High LDL Cholesterol
  • Metabolic Syndrome
  • Cancer
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Sleep Apnea
  • Obesity Hypoventilation Syndrome
  • Reproductive Problems
  • Gallstones
The most heart breaking part of this is, that it is, for the most part, preventable.  I think that in order to prevent it though, you must grasp two things in your head: (1) you must be sufficiently disturbed enough to understand that you MUST make changes if you want to be around to see your children and grand-children grow up, and (2) you need to really understand that YOU CAN DO THIS!

 There are 100's upon 1,000's of success stories (myself being one of them).  I am not suggesting that you attempt to do something that's never been done before...I merely suggesting that you get serious with yourself about what it is that you really want.  Put all of the excuses aside, because if you want something bad enough, you'll find a way to make it happen and stop making excuses for why it won't.'ll stop thumbing through Facebook pages dedicated to weight loss, healthy living, and motivation...and instead you'll start applying what you're seeing and reading to your own life.  I hope you understand that I am not judging you (I've walked in your shoes before, and I know how hard it is), but I am passionate about helping people find ways to be honest with themselves...helping them to see that they are not on this journey alone...helping them to see that they are worth the effort it takes to transform their lives!  

I believe in you, and believe that you can do whatever you put your mind to.  I'm here to encourage.  Be well!  Be blessed!  Be fit!  

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

The "Fountain Of Youth" is REAL!

As a Certified Personal Trainer and Fitness Coach, I'm often asked questions about both exercise and diet.  I answer most questions with three answers:  (1) Weight loss (especially shrinking your abs) is 80% determined in the kitchen, (2) Exercise is the "Fountain of Youth", and (3) You MUST lift to lose.

Allow me to expand on these answers:

Weight Loss is 80% determined in the kitchen

Your diet will determine if you lose or gain weight.  Pretty simple.  Yes, there are other nominal, outside factors, but for the most part, you are what you eat.  ...AND, I would go a step further and say that the VAST majority of modern diseases can be avoided or cured based upon what you are feeding your body.

  • I am a firm believer in purchasing organics, especially for the "Dirty Dozen".  
  • I'm a firm believer in limiting animal products (especially those that are full of hormones and have been contaminated with GMO's).  
  • I'm a firm believer in the health benefits of juicing.  
  • I'm a firm believer in "clean eating".  
  • I'm a firm believer in avoiding unhealthy things like:  artificial colors, artificial sweeteners, artificial flavors, preservatives, trans-fats, high fructose corn syrup, processed foods, sodas (including diet), alcohol (in moderation), products containing GMO's, and high amounts of sugar.
The bottom line is:  If you clean up your WILL lose weight!  This one change alone, will cause your body to change in ways that you never thought possible...even if you NEVER exercise!

Exercise Is The "Fountain of Youth"

Now, I know that I just told you that you can lose weight without exercising...yes, this is true.  ...BUT, you MUST exercise to keep your body young as you age.  Motion is lotion!  Your joints need to move...think of the Tin Man in the Wizard of Oz...if you don't move your joints, it's like not oiling them...they WILL eventually stiffen up and become painful and difficult to move.  How often have we seen an elderly person with limited, or no mobility?  Aging is inevitable (and beats the alternative), but if we move our bodies throughout our lives,  they will continue to move...even as we get older.

Being a Certified Personal Trainer, I highly recommend that if you've been sedentary for a prolonged period of time, or if you're not seeing the results that you want in the gym, please find a qualified, certified, licensed, insured Personal Trainer for at least 8 - 10 sessions.  I know first hand the benefits of a Personal Trainer.  Years ago, when I was 80 pounds heavier, I spent the money for a gym, I worked out on my own, but didn't see the results that I least, not until I hired a Personal Trainer.  I was wasting my time and money.  Why?  Because I didn't know how to properly exercise, and I also didn't know what the correct exercises were that my body needed in order to get the results that I wanted.  It's amazing to me that so many people will invest the time and money...FOR YEARS...and NEVER get the results they want!  Stop wasting your time and money!  You wouldn't go to court without a good wouldn't try to treat cancer on your wouldn't try to build a bridge without an architect, then WHY on earth would you try to change and improve your body without the help of a professional...someone trained to help you get the results that you the shortest amount of time possible.

You MUST Lift to Lose

I've preached this one on several occasions.  Lifting weight can help to slow the aging process...AND the FAT gaining process.  See, as we age, we lose muscle.  As we lose lean, compact muscle, it's replaced with fluffy FAT! I hope you have a visual of what that means to your body composition...think size 8 jeans vs. size 12 jeans...   CLICK HERE for an in depth explanation of what happens to your muscles as you age.  

I tell people again, and again, again why they MUST lift in order to lose...sometimes I feel like no one is listening!  When I talk about "lifting", I don't mean 100's of pounds...I don't mean using those "scary" machines at the gym...and I certainly don't mean bulking up like a body builder...I mean, simply using your own body weight, and a set of 5 - 15 pound hand weights.  You got this!  

It is scientifically proven that lifting weight produces greater fat loss than cardio!  ...AND you only need to lift 3 days per week to see results.  So what are you weighting on?  You aren't sure what exactly to do?  That's ok, a Personal Trainer can teach you...there's nothing to be afraid of, and you have NOTHING to lose...but fat...and weight!  

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Ms. Fit and the Good Witch

YAY!!!!  I recently just passed my exam to become an ACE certified Personal Trainer.  So many of you have shared this journey with me, and I just want to thank you for your encouraging words, and thank you for following me along my journey!

I often get asked, by those who don't know me from my "previous life", why I would leave corporate America, and why I would choose to pursue fitness as a career.  The answer is simple:  I am PASSIONATE about helping people (especially women) to feel good about themselves, to regain their "swagger", to add years to their life and life to their years, and to begin writing a new chapter in their life story!  See, I've been where so many of you are (or have been)...I was once unhealthy, unfit, overweight, depressed, and miserable.  Here's how my story goes:

Once upon a time, there was a vibrant, fun, smart, curious, funny, pretty girl named Ms. Fit, but the monster called "Life" had placed a cruel curse on her...she was trapped in a body that was 80 pounds overweight, she had no energy, she was depressed, she had terrible self-esteem, and she was ashamed of what she had become, and what she was teaching her beautiful daughter to become.  One day Ms. Fit, heard the kids at her daughter's school making fun of her and calling her a "whale".  She was so embarrassed that her little girl had to hear those cruel things that the kids were saying about her mother, and at that moment, she realized that she must find a "good witch" to help her break the curse!  Ms. Fit found a good witch, although she called herself a personal trainer because it sounded much more socially acceptable than "good witch", and with the help of this good witch, Ms. Fit began a journey that would change not only her life story, but her daughter's as well.
That's me then on the far right!

The good witch, was a hard task-master...she was demanding, and nosey, and sometimes pushy.  She would have Ms. Fit meet her, sometimes at 5:00 in the morning, and she would work her 3 days a week until Ms. Fit was weak, and tired, and sweaty!  The good witch wanted to know what Ms. Fit was eating, so she had to keep a food journal for the good witch to look at every week.  Whenever Ms. Fit would make an unhealthy food choice, or skip a workout, the good witch would be all up in her business and would work Ms. Fit even harder on the next visit. The good witch took measurements and assessments, and then she took them again a couple of months later, and then again...and again...  The good witch told Ms. Fit that if she would just listen to her, and stick to the plan that she designed for her, that the the curse would be broken.  Ms. Fit had many days of doubt...many days of DOMS...and many days that she really didn't want to say "no" to that cupcake...or the pastry...or the french fries.

BUT...ever so slowly Ms. Fit began to notice some changes.  At first the changes were subtle...her workout clothes were a little looser...she had more energy to spend with her family...her skin was clearing up.  Then, other people started to see the changes in Ms. Fit...they started to notice that she was looking toned and trim...that she had an extra bounce to her step...that she was...regaining her "swagger"...her attitude about life and her body was changing.  Ms. Fit had been like a gross, chubby caterpillar, then she began to go through a slow metamorphosis...she was becoming the beautiful butterfly that she'd always dreamed of being!  The curse was breaking!!!  Ms. Fit was eventually 80 pounds lighter!  She went from wearing a size 18 to wearing a size 8, and most importantly, her beautiful daughter (who was also overweight) was learning healthy behaviors, and getting to her healthy weight!  This broken curse not only saved Ms. Fit's life, but it saved her daughter's life as well!
This is me now...on the far right!  My beautiful daughter on the left.

So, this silly little story is obviously about me.  I wanted to tell it in a way that was light, and a way that is non-threatening...but would make you think about your own life.  Where are you today?  Are you where you want to be...where you dream of being?  Do you have the energy and vitality to go through life fully enjoying and embracing it?  Do you have a healthy self-esteem?  Are you making healthy food choices that nourish your body and add life to your years?

If you are where you want to be...feeling the way you want to feel, then I applaud you!  Keep up the good work!  BUT, if you are like Ms. Fit, and life has placed a curse on you, then I challenge you to find a good witch who can help you to break the curse!  You deserve to live a life of health and well-being, in the body that you WANT!  Your family deserves a YOU, that is the best YOU that you can be!  Remember, as a wife and mother, the choices you make, not only affect you, but they affect your entire family too!  If I can do this, so can YOU!!!  Be blessed!  Be well!  Be fit!!!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

WAIT!!!! Weight????

Lifting weight...losing weight...gaining weight...waiting...  In some way, shape, or form we all wait, but we should weight!  I speak with many women who avoid lifting weights because they're afraid that it will cause them to "bulk up", I'm here to tell you that the opposite is true!  It is inevitable that you will bulk up if you don't lift weights.

I have to admit that, once upon an time, I too had that mentality.  Thankfully while studying for my Personal Training certificate, I was enlightened.  There is study, after study, touting the importance of lifting weights for weight loss.  Now, when I speak of lifting weights, I'm not talking about the heavy stuff that the "meat heads" lift.  I am a huge proponent of body weight exercises...the use of resistance bands, hand weights, and your own body weight.

Let me try to convince you of the importance of lifting:

It is scientifically proven that muscular capacity decreases dramatically with age, BUT only in non-strength training individuals.  On average, we lose 5 pounds of muscle with every decade of life.  While this may sound good...I mean, who wouldn't want to lose 5 pounds every 10 years, simply by doing nothing?  The body is composed primarily of two components:  fat mass...or lean mass.  So, if you lose muscle, it's being replaced by fat...yep, FAT!  Let's take a closer look at how this works:

Let's say I'm 30 years old (actually, I say that often...LOL), let's also say that I weigh 120 pounds (I WISH), and that I have 20% body fat (maybe when I was 16!)  Given this hypothetical scenario, my body composition would consist of 24 pounds of fat, and 96 pounds of lean mass (I won't bore you with the mathematics behind these numbers, you can send me a private message if you really want to see the mathematical equations).

So, let's fast forward 20 years...I am now 50 years old, and have lost 10 pounds of lean muscle mass over the last 20 years.  Essentially, this changes my entire body composition, because I would have replaced that 10 pounds of lean muscle with 10 pounds of squishy, yucky FAT!!!!!  For the sake of this blog, let's just say that I did manage to maintain my weight (120 pounds), given my aging body composition (loss of 10 pounds of lean muscle), my body would now consist of 34 pounds of fat mass, and 86 pounds of lean muscle mass, which would equate to an increase in body fat to 28.3%.  I would be wearing a larger size, because fat is...well,'s fluffy, and takes up a large amount of space in our bodies, but muscle is very dense and compact...filling up a much smaller space.

Okay, so here's what I want you to know:  strength training doesn't have to take a lot of time in order to reap HUGE benefits!  I recommend a minimum of 30 minutes of strength training, 3 days a week, with a rest day in between workouts.  You still need to keep up your cardio, and you should be doing a minimum of 30 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous cardio at least 5 days per week.  That's really not a lot of time...think of it as an investment in your health, and your life!  When something is important to you, you WILL make time for it...when it's not important, you'll make an excuse not to do it...the choice is yours!  YOU ARE WORTH taking the time for YOU!  Make an appointment with yourself if you have to, but do it!!!  Your body will thank you!  Be blessed!  Be well!  Be fit!!!

Monday, January 28, 2013

Supplement Is NOT A Four Letter Word

I'm going to start off by stating the obvious:  when you're over 40, things just don't work the same as they did when you were in your 20's...or even 30's.  It's harder to loose's harder to maintain a youthful's harder to build's just harder...  Notice that I did NOT say impossible...just harder...  I firmly believe that, for most people, after the BIG 4-0, we just need a little "help" a gentle a facial supplementation.  Yes, I just went there!

Today I want to write on a subject that is near and dear to my heart...nutritional supplements.  I realize that this is a very controversial topic within the fitness industry, so before you go and get all hot under the collar, let me clarify.  I'm not talking about the ones that professional athletes take...or the ones that promise you'll loose 10 pounds in 2 days...or the ones that make you bulk up like the Hulk...or the ones that are synthetic garbage (aka:  a chemical crap storm).  I'm talking about natural, NUTRITIONAL SUPPLEMENTATION...simply, what we can do with what nature has given us to supplement what our diets are lacking, but our bodies need for optimum health and functioning.

Since my Dad has owned a Health Food store in Tucson, AZ for the last 30+ years (shout out to The Health Hut), I grew up understanding several important things:

(1) how to read a nutrition label,
(2) that if we put the things into our bodies that they need, they will respond by being healthier, and looking and feeling better,
(3) that God has already given us pretty much everything that we need to heal our bodies when they are sick or not performing at their peak,

(4) that it is necessary to supplement our diet, because our modern diet is sadly lacking in essential vitamins, minerals, and nutrients, and;
(5) just because we can add to our diet what we lack by not eating healthy, this does NOT give us a license to slowly kill our bodies by poisoning it to death with unhealthy food choices!

Everyone needs to do their own research to find what they feel will work for them, and then use what they feel is beneficial to their body.  I am NOT a proponent of:
  • any product(s) out there that make promises that are too good to be true,
  • any product(s) that tells you that you MUST use their product(s), and ONLY their product(s), to achieve whatever your desired results are,
  • any product(s) that puts more of an emphasis on signing other people up under you, than the actual health benefits of the product(s),
  • any product(s) that is marketed as the product(s) that will fix all of your unhealthy habits overnight,
  • any product(s) that is the "miracle" fix/cure to your weight loss/health woes.
  • any product(s) that has a nutritional label that looks like a science experiment (with the exception of the scientific names of vitamins...sometimes they look scary)
  • any product(s) that contains fillers and artificial colors/flavors/sweeteners
  • any product(s) that contains high fructose corn syrup/corn syrup
  • any product(s) that contains GMO products (corn and soy are the worst offenders)
  • any products(s) that contain known allergens/irritants (whey, lactose, gluten)
  • any product(s) that contain MSG or other chemical preservatives

Remember...if it seems too good to be true...IT IS!!!!  

The ONLY way you will "turn back the clock" and discover the "Fountain of Youth" is by making your pursuit of health and fitness a lifestyle.  Becoming healthy, loosing weight, finding your way to physical fitness is NOT a New Year's resolution, it is NOT something that happens overnight, it will NOT happen as the result of taking some magic potion, BUT it will happen...the old-fashioned way...with hard work and determination, making good, healthy choices day-after-day, sweating (everyday), driving past that fast food joint, and saying "No" to unhealthy habits, and "Yes" to the rest of your beautiful, healthy, fit life!  Be blessed!  Be well!  Be fit!

My next blog will get a little more in depth about what to look for when supplementing your diet.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

You CAN do THIS!!!

Since this is my first blog of the new year, I wanted to write about something that is on most of our minds right now., not New Year's resolutions...I don't believe in them, simply because most people never see them to fruition.  I want to talk about the steps it takes to make a lifestyle change.

First let's look at what a lifestyle change is:  it is modifying or eliminating long-held habits of eating or physical activity and maintaining the new habits over months and years.  Since many of us have tried, and failed numerous times before to bring about healthy changes in our lives, this can be an intimidating journey to begin.  I think the most crucial element is simply that you begin.  Success lies in taking small, sustainable steps toward lasting, doable changes for the betterment of your health.  There are several things to consider for the successful implementation of the changes that you want to make...let's look at them:

Identify your priorities and commitments 

Write down exactly what it is that you want to do/change.  Remember that the things that you spend the most time on, are the things that are the most important to you.  If you want to make exercise a consistent part of your life, then schedule it into your day...make an appointment with other words, make it a priority.  

Make sure that the change is something that YOU want 

This is all about YOU, and for one else.  Why do you want to make the change(s)?  What is your motivation?  Really think about that, and then mentally hold on to that reason/motivation...this is what will help you to keep going when you feel like quitting.  I call this, "knowing your why".

Make sure that you feel good about the changes that you're making 

If this is going to be sustainable, you need to embrace it, and be passionate about it.  If you decide that you want to eat healthier, then clean out your fridge and pantry and eliminate foods that aren't healthy...celebrate that fun music while you're doing "shoot the hoop" with the food into the garbage can...make it fun and enjoyable.

Make small, progressively changing goals 

I don't want you to change everything overnight...that would be almost impossible to stick to for the long haul.  I recommend that when you are identifying your priorities, that you then break each item down into smaller "bite sized" changes.  For example:  "I want to eat healthier."  Okay, start by cleaning out the unhealthy food items from your kitchen (if it's not can't eat it).  The next step (week two) might be, eliminating all products with artificial sweeteners and sugar.  You might then progress to cutting out milk by substituting almond milk (week three).  See where I'm going with this?  Make your changes progressive...that will make your lifestyle change easier to adhere to.

Finally, don't beat yourself up if you have a day where you slip back into your old habits...the key is to get back into your new life as quickly as possible.  Once you begin to feel how good it feels to feel good, you won't want to go back to the "old you".  Your body will reward your changes with more energy, feeling better...lighter...healthier.  Friends will comment on how amazing you takes time, but trust me, people will notice.  YOU CAN DO THIS...and you'll be happy that you did!