Thursday, 30 June 2011

15 Tips for Staying on Track: #14 - What's on your mind?

If you are not in the right headspace, none of the other strategies I've suggested are going to work, no matter how much you’d like to think they will. I may be able to help motivate you to begin your journey, as might someone else, but you are ultimately responsible for sticking with it.

Having said that, I hope that this blog will help to get you into a positive frame of mind, and that your successes will keep you there!

Source unknown

Wednesday, 29 June 2011

15 Tips for Staying on Track: #13 - "Sometimes, ignoring is the appropriate response."

The quote in the title is from The Simpsons writer, George Meyer....wise words indeed.

If like me, you haven’t ever come across anyone who makes snippy, snidey remarks about your healthy lifestyle, then you (and I) are incredibly fortunate because believe me, there isn’t a day goes by when I don’t hear of someone being negative or venomous about someone else. It is a sad fact of life that often, when a mirror is held up to them, some people do not like what they see. Instead of looking at their own reflection, it's easier to be negative to the mirror.

Source unknown

Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Recipe/Ricetta - Sugo Pomodoro

The delicious tomato sauce is really easy to make, and can be used as the basis for many dishes, be it a simple spaghetti supper, pizza, Bolognese, lasagne, involtini di melanzane etc. I tend to make it in large batches, and then store it in the refrigerator in airtight glass jars but it can be frozen and will keep for around a month to six weeks in the freezer.

Before we begin, I recommend using passata; you can use fresh plum tomatoes, but why bother when passata is easily available, and works perfectly? I use Cirio Smooth Passata because it’s inexpensive and tastes great. I don’t know how widely available it is outside Europe, though. You could also use tinned tomatoes but you'll have to reduce them down to get the right flavour, making them not nearly as economical as using passata.

15 Tips for Staying on Track: #12 - Stop Making Excuses!

Seriously, I mean it! It doesn’t matter if you are going on holiday, or if it’s someone’s birthday party, or you are having chocolate cravings because ToM is due, or if it's Christmas. Why are any of these excuses?

Once you understand and accept that you can eat and drink more or less whatever you like, as long as it fits into your plan, you have no reason to ever make an excuse again  (but please, please make healthy choices!). No one is too busy to eat properly (plan ahead). No one is too busy to exercise (what, you can’t fit in 10 minutes in the morning, 10 minutes at lunchtime and 10 minutes in the evening?). No one is too fat or too heavy to exercise (even a five minute walk a day to the end of the road and back is beneficial).

As someone once said, excuses are like farts – we all have them and they all stink!

Source unknown

Sunday, 26 June 2011

15 Tips for Staying on Track: #11 - Zzzzzzzz

While you are sleeping, your body is repairing itself. Insufficient sleep can lead to inefficient repairing and a sluggish system. Plus, if your muscles are sore and achey, a reluctance to exercise the next day. Not to mention the possibility of being grouchy and self-defeating!

Make sure, therefore, that you get enough sleep!

Source: - Sleeping Statue; The Lost Gardens of Heligan 

15 Tips for Staying on Track: #10 - Water, water, everywhere...

Water is your best friend, it really is. While there is some debate as to whether the human body really has evolved to require 8x250ml glasses of water a day, there is enough scientific evidence to prove how beneficial it is.
Source: W.J.Pilsak

Saturday, 25 June 2011

I am so, so sorry...

Dear Body,

I have no idea why I let us get like this, or how I managed to kid myself for the past few years that we still looked and felt good. I don't lie to other people, so why have I lied to us?

I know what it is; I have been maintaining the same eating habits we had when we were super-fit and on the go all the time. We went from swimming five days a week, to gym three times a week & cycling 6-10 miles a day (five days a week), to walking four miles a day, five days a week, to.....practically nothing.

15 Tips for Staying on Track: #9 - Strategies for Success

Use visual aids, understand your ‘danger zones’, keep records, read success stories, look at people’s before and after pictures, hang up your skinny jeans in a prominent place to remind you what you’re aiming for, keep photos of yourself at your ideal weight/size on the ‘fridge (or photos of a body you’d like to have!).

Make a My Virtual Model progress image....

Do whatever it takes to help you achieve your goal!

15 Tips for Staying on Track: #8 - Be determined, be stubborn!

No one ever achieved anything without enthusiasm and determination.

Determination is what keeps us going when our enthusiasm wanes. And determination is what helps us to push through our barriers, out of our comfort zone, toward that new and exciting horizon.

Friday, 24 June 2011

15 Tips for Staying on Track: #7 - Where's Your Carrot?

I'm talking about motivation of course!

It actually takes relatively little time to burn off fat. You need to burn around 3,500 calories to shift a pound of fat – this can be done in a week! It generally takes less time to lose the excess than it took to gain it – isn’t that a great thought? In my opinion, nothing breeds motivation like success, so do employ strategies to help you have tangible evidence of your own success.

Image Source: a friend of he:משתמש גילגמש.

Thursday, 23 June 2011

15 Tips for Staying on Track: #6 - Understand your body

You will often hear people say that you should only weigh yourself once a week. Or once a month. Or every six weeks. Or not at all. While all of these statements have merit (particularly if you are the kind of person who is likely to become de-motivated by a perceived gain or lack of a loss), in my opinion, one of the keys to successfully getting healthy is to understand your body.

Michelangelo's David

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

15 Tips for Staying on Track: #5 - Support and Proactive Diversity

I cannot stress enough how important this is. It’s not enough to have the support of your loved ones (although obviously this is pretty much essential too) - you need the support of peers; people who are on a similar journey to you. It doesn’t matter whether they have 20lbs or 200lbs to lose, you have a shared aim, and you’ll probably experience similar pitfalls and triumphs. Why not join an online community, such as My Fitness Pal, where you will ‘meet’ people from across the world, from all walks of life?

Source unknown

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

15 Tips for Staying on Track: #4 - Photos and Tape Measures!

As painful as it is to do, take photos of your progress. Please don’t shy away from it because otherwise you'll regret not having a record of all of your hard work. Take front, side and back photos, then date them and file them away...for now. Take photos every couple of weeks or every month. Then start to compare them.

Monday, 20 June 2011

15 Tips for Staying on Track: #3 - Weigh To Go!

Weigh your food and count your calories!

OK, if you are doing WW, then you don’t need to count calories but you do still need to weigh your food. A set of Digital Scales means you have no excuse for over-estimation!

15 Tips for Staying on Track: #2 - Log, log, and keep on logging!

Keep track of everything you eat or drink, especially little nibbles – they soon mount up. Not only will you be able to see which areas can be improved, but you’ll see a pattern to your eating habits.

Saturday, 18 June 2011

15 Tips for Staying on Track: #1 - Define Your Goals!

What is it you are trying to achieve? To get down to a certain weight? To be fit? To be more healthy? To tone up? To run a 5k? To run a marathon? To get a new job? To change your entire career? To be more organised? To be happy?

What exactly is it you are aiming for?

Friday, 17 June 2011

Recipe/Ricetta - Tramezzini con Formaggio di Capra

(Adapted from a recipe in Taste Italia magazine.)

Perfect as a light supper, or brunch, these delicious mini toasties are deceptively filling without leaving you bloated and lethargic. The rounds of bread are lightly brushed with oil, seasoned with fresh herbs, and then gently toasted under a hot grill, before having a selection of seasonal vegetables, plus a slice of goat cheese stacked between them. Served with some baby plum tomatoes and a green salad, each tramezzino makes a refreshing alternative to the usual toasted cheese sandwich. Add a serving of home made potato salad for a more substantial meal. Favoloso!

Thursday, 16 June 2011

Scars....or Why I Know I Can Do This

I am stubborn. I have always been stubborn. And it has served me well. In fact, being stubborn has quite literally kept me alive!

When I was a baby, my mother gouged my left thigh with a nappy pin. I don't remember this of course but I remember my grandmother telling me that was how I got the scar. And when I questioned her, my mother freely admitted she'd done it - and was unrepentant. My scar grew with me, and while it is unsightly, it is a reminder to me that yes, my mother behaved abysmally toward me, but she was sick too, for surely no one in their right mind would do that to a baby...

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Recipe/Ricetta - Caprese Il Tricolore

This is one of the easiest salads in the world to make, and takes its name from the Italian flag, Tricolore Italiano. The green of the flag is said to represent the hills and plains of Italia, the white is the snow-capped Alps, and the red is the blood spilled during the Italian wars of independence. Catholics will no doubt also tell you that the green is for faith, the white for hope, and the red, charity. Both are equally charming interpretations, and while each has merit, I prefer the former!

In this recipe we have the green of the wonderfully fragrant basil and the soft, ripe avocado, the white of the delicately-flavoured creamy mozzarella, and the red of delicious baby plum tomatoes...Italian of course! Like the most stylish people, it's dressed very simply - in this case, with a drizzle of good extra virgin olive oil, and some freshly-cracked black pepper. Deliziosa!

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Thelma & Louise Changed My Life!

It happens to be true - as I'll explain in a minute - and through this blog, I hope you will understand that if something in your life is broken, or not working particularly well, then you have the power to change things for the better.

So how did Thelma and Louise change my life? With one simple phrase...

"You get what you settle for."

Thought for this morning...

Be not afraid of going slowly; be afraid only of standing still.

Chinese proverb