Archive

Category Archives for "Going Places"
26

5 Steps to Create Permanent Lifestyle Change

Kymberly Williams-Evans, MA and Alexandra Williams, MA

Dreamgirls

I Am Changing

Are you looking to lose weight? Eat more healthfully? Enjoy a more active life? Replace a bad health habit with a good one? Then you are in one of the 5 Stages of Change people must go through to improve their lives. Which one? And will knowing your stage help you succeed with your desired change?

Change is Scary

Kymberly: “Change is not simple; it is scary.” Anschutz Medical Center faculty member and licensed psychologist, Denise McGuire, PhD laid this on us at the recent FitSocial conference. Her presentation on making lifestyle changes covered the phases we pass through to meet our new goals.

Willingness, Not Willpower is Key

According to Dr. McGuire, one of the mistakes we make is thinking we can change something once, then be done. For example, long term diets don’t work for 95% of people who try them. Yet it is a myth that people don’t or can’t really change. They can–YOU can!–if you know what stage of change you are in and adjust accordingly. Willpower alone is not sufficient. Willingness, not willpower is key. To change, you need to be willing to go outside your comfort zone. And that can be scary!

Power Up, Pac-Men & Women!

Power Up, Pac-Men & Women!

Alexandra: We aren’t fans of attributing lack of success to willpower, which has a sense of fighting against yourself and leads to self-recrimination. It has a negative feel to it. It’s far more empowering to either be willing or unwilling to do a behavior that leads to change. In other words, you didn’t LOSE a battle so much as you CHOSE something else instead. So Power Up! (lovers of video games will recognize this phrase as a way to instantly gain benefits and abilities).

Kymberly: Unfortunately, fewer than 20% of people in problem populations are ready for change. (What do you define as a “problem” population? The obese? Smokers? Sedentary individuals? Dr. McGuire implied all of the former, but did not really cover this so you can decide whether you consider yourself in a problem population). Are you in that 20% elite ready to improve your life?

5 Stages of Change

1) Precontemplation

People in this initial stage are resistant to change; they deny they have a problem believing they need to change those around them.  Precontemplators can be demoralized and feel their situation is hopeless; they are defensive and rarely take responsibility for their behaviors.

This stage is a relatively safe place to be as there is no risk of failure. It’s a comfort zone though not a healthy one!

Alexandra contemplating in Thailand

Thinking, thinking, contemplating, thinking….time for a nap

2) Contemplation

Progress! People in this phase accept that they, not others are the ones needing to make a change. However they are still not ready to take action.

3) Preparation

If you are in this phase, you plan to take action within the month. You are aware of your problem, have increasing confidence in your ability to tackle it; have gathered the necessary information and want to take action, but are not quite ready. Almost though!

4) Action

While you might consider this the easy phase, Dr. McGuire revealed that the Action stage requires the greatest amount of commitment, support, and energy. To succeed you must engage in self-talk to bolster your resolve; you need to be clear about your motivation; and you will do well to write down your reasons for change and read your notes daily.

Keep in mind that the Action stage does NOT mean you are continually moving forward; you will go back sometimes, then forward. But you WILL get to your goal. Think of it as walking against waves: slow going with resistance, yet you eventually DO get to smoother waters (aka it becomes a habit). Be prepared — people in the Action phase usually need 4-5 attempts before progressing to the fifth and final stage.

5) Maintenance

This phase lasts anywhere from 6 months to life, and is where new habits are formed. To stop yourself from moving back to an earlier stage consider these 5 tips from Dr. McGuire:

  • be clear about your motivation (how does this new habit improve your life?)
  • tackle just one issue at a time
  • get support
  • track your progress
  • learn from setbacks
Five Stages of Change with an extra for good luck

Five Stages of Change with You Accounted For

Alexandra: The Maintenance Phase is also an important stage to work on the words you use to describe yourself and your actions. For example, “relapse” has a more negative feel to it than “setback.” Which word sounds more successful to you? Another way to frame your behavior in this stage is to focus on the work you’ve done and the progress you’ve made.

While you’re at it, throw away the word “failure.” That’s a word to apply to hard drives and car brakes, not humans. People do not go in a straight line: Success ——>  Failure; people go in labyrinths, circles and winding paths. As Gandalf wrote in his letter to the Hobbits, “Not all those who wander are lost.” Then his pen ran out of ink just as he was going to write, “And not all those who wander off the path are doomed.”

 Be undoomed and make a new good habit when you:

A) subscribe to our YouTube channel and blog.

B) Follow us on google +Alexandra and +Kymberly, on Twitter:  AlexandraFunFit and KymberlyFunFit and Instagram: KymberlyFunFit and AlexandraFunFit.

C) Hire us to speak at your next meeting or conference. Call (805) 403-4338 or email info@funandfit.org.

Photo Credits:

5 Stages of Change Pie Chart  http://www.readytoexercise.com/stages.html

14

Six Amazing (and Possibly Gross) Health Future Trends

Alexandra Williams, MA and Kymberly Williams-Evans, MA
Do NOT sit for too long!

Do NOT sit for too long!

What do baldness, wrinkles, cellulite, shyness, muffin top all have in common? They are all normal conditions, not diseases that need to be “cured.” So opened Carol Torgan, PhD, FACSM, in her recent presentation “Communication of Evidence-Based Health and Wellness Information” at the recent FitSocial Conference.

A potentially intimidating title, yet we knew to expect an informative lecture from a woman who’s spent over 15 years at the National Institutes of Health and American College of Sports Medicine “developing content and outreach strategies that translate the health and medical sciences into understandable and actionable steps for the general public and for health professionals.”

Essentially, Dr. Torgan’s talk boiled down to six predicted health trends, starting with the one that might gross you out the most:

Ready for your Fecal Transplant?

Ready for your Fecal Transplant?

1. Microbiomes

A community of organisms that live in and on us – bacteria, fungi, protozoa, viruses -icky, slimy, ewwwy! One – three percent of our body is not “us” but the above organisms. These bacteria/ microbiomes influence how we metabolize foods. In other words, look for the link between probiotics, colitis and poop! Heck, Dr. Torgan even references fecal transplants. In his piece for the New York Times, Michael Pollan discusses microbiomes and states that we are all actually only 10% “human.”

2. Inactivity Physiology

“Your next posture is your best posture.” Sitting too much is not the same as exercising too little. You can exercise strenuously for an hour, but if you sit for the rest of the day, you are at risk for all kinds of health issues, including weight gain. So if you’re sitting up perfectly straight in a chair, get up and move.

3. Travel and Its Effects on the Body

Keep an eye on research into circadian rhythms and chronobiology (the scientific study of the effect of time on living systems and of biological rhythms). With millions of Americans spending millions of dollars on antidepressant medication, research into light therapy and its effectiveness on depression, sleep disorders, dementia, bulimia, bipolar disorder and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder is expanding.

4. Crowdsourcing

Now that we are linked in globally, look for an expansion of people helping people by sharing and curating strategies and successes. A perfect example of crowdsourcing with health benefits is the National Weight Control Registry started by keynote speaker Dr. James Hill. The registry “was developed to identify and investigate the characteristics of individuals who have succeeded at long-term weight loss.”
It tracks over 10,000 people who have “lost significant amounts of weight and kept it off for long periods of time.” The information is then shared in an effort to help people want to access these successful strategies. And this is a perfect time to mention that Dr. Hill wrote the just-released “State of Slim,” which gives step-by-step instructions for losing weight and keeping it off!

Forget tidy whities; time for Carbon Undies

Forget tidy whities; time for Carbon Undies

5. E-textiles

We are already weaving trackers and feedback tools into our clothing, it’s just so gradual that we don’t notice how “futuristic” this is. And more is coming! How about carbon sensing underwear? Yup. These sensing, sensible undies will be useful for everything from diabetes monitoring to military applications. We already have monitors, trackers, cameras, timers and all kinds of magical gadgets that were the stuff of Bond films 30 years ago; now these devices will move even closer to your center of gravity (more accurate than wrist worn gadgets). Remember Andy Serkis using the performance capture suit as Gollum in LOTR? Are you ready to wear a fitness top that has front, back and side sensors that correct your movement patterns?
Check out Carol’s Pinterest board on wearable tech.

6. Neuroscience and Neuroplasticity

Brain science as it relates to movement is huge right now, and the research just keeps coming. To improve cognitive skills and brain power as we age we have to move. You move; you get smarter! Move to the head of the class! We’ve been touting this research for a few years now, knowing that Boomers in particular want to stay mentally sharp.

We’ve gathered a few tweets from Dr. Torgan’s talk, because you will like these 140 character bits of wisdom!

Dr. Carol Torgan is the new BFF of the F&F Twins!

Dr. Carol Torgan is the new BFF of the F&F Twins!

* When offering stats or science, go (or link) to the original source
* “Which fitness tracker do you recommend?” – “The one you will use”
* The most common weight loss tracking device is not an app; it’s the “jeans in the back of the closet that someday I’ll fit into again” tracker
* The most effective treatment for anxiety and insomnia is exercise (via sufferer self-report)
* An abstract presented at a conference is NOT the same as a published, peer-reviewed article
* More than half of internet users are looking online for exercise, health & fitness info.

 

What trend is most interesting to you?

Kymberly is wearing a very cute Lorna Jane blue pullover and shoes by Ahnu.

Photo credits: Carbon clothing- Carol Torgan; Pooped People –  x-ray delta one; Prolonged sitting – iamdogsmom

Be one of the first to know all the latest healthy living info:

A) subscribe to our YouTube channel and blog.

B) Follow us on google +Alexandra and +Kymberly, on Twitter:  AlexandraFunFit and KymberlyFunFit and Instagram: KymberlyFunFit and AlexandraFunFit.

C) Hire us to speak at your next meeting or conference. Call (805) 403-4338 or email info@funandfit.org.

17

Why You Want to Lose Weight Affects Your Success

Kymberly Williams-Evans, MA

Released in 2013 State of SlimIs your current weight helping or standing in the way of you realizing your goals and dreams? Drs. James Hill and Holly Wyatt pose this question in their new book, State of Slim. In fact, they go so far as to list finding your life purpose as the starting point for a weight loss journey. Heavy stuff for a book about moving away from heavy. Do ask yourself, what would your life be like if you were to lose weight, eat healthfully, and exercise regularly?

Who Wants to Live in the State of Slim?

Why am I excited about State of Slim and the authors’ advice for permanent weight loss when I have poo-poohed or ignored so many others of its ilk? (Did I really just say “ilk?” Go me!) First, I had the fun and fortune to meet Dr. Hill and Dr. Wyatt in person when I attended last year’s FitSocial conference at the brand new, jaw dropping Anschutz Health and Wellness Center where they were both presenters. Second, I just got back from this year’s FitSocial event where Dr. Hill served as keynote speaker on the subject for which he is the leading world authority: Obesity.

Fun and Fit speak at FitSocial

Look closely, See the celeb dust Dr Hill sprinkles on us as we speak after him?

It Doesn’t Take a Rocket Scientist to Tell Us What Does NOT Work (It Does Take These Scientist Authors Though)

When high-level researchers and academics bring evidence-based, hot off the treadmills, cutting edge info direct to fitness bloggers like me, I get a nerdy, intellectual groupie thaaang goin’ on. If you have weight loss goals, then take my advice to take Dr. Hill’s advice. For one, he and Dr. Wyatt focus minimally on what causes our nation’s obesity. (Though, believe me, they have years of data to list how we got into fat trouble). Instead they put their efforts towards what actually works for successful weight losers. Or more importantly — weight loss sustainers.

Step One Has a Distinct Purpose You Can Begin with TODAY

Depending whether you are in weight loss or weight maintenance mode, you have specific, clear steps to take. And those steps are backed up with a lot more than a gimmick or celebrity testimonial. Their extensive research reveals that Step One is to answer these questions:

  1. What is your primary, driving, motivation for wanting a healthier body and life?
  2. How does this connect to your life purpose?

Write down a few motivators or key desires now. Or share in the comments below. Feel free to overshare even! Make your list as long, short, ungrammatically incorrect as you like, but do some self-reflection to come up with your “whys.” You will have times when an oversized portion of yummy deliciousness beckons like Precious in Lord of the Rings. My precious. My precious. (Ok, kind of creepy if you think about it.) Or the warmth of your snuggly blankets feels sooo much better than springing up to work out early. In snow. Or dark, Or uphill. Both ways. You need to invoke your purpose motivator mojo if you want to join the ranks of successful losers.

As Dr. Denise McGuire reinforced in her talk at FitSocial 2013 on Making Lifestyle Changes, “Be clear about your motivation if you want to make a life change. 95% of diets don’t work long term. And fewer than 20% of the people in a problem population are truly ready for change.” If you are wanting a healthier, happier, leaner body for life, you need to have reasons that are meaningful and powerful for YOU.

Dr Hil and his book, State of Slim with Kymberly

Not overdoing the groupie thing at all

What’s the Hardest Thing About Weight Loss?

Don’t fret about whether your reasons are internally motivated — you want to explore the world when you retire — or externally driven — you want to look HAWT in your new travel outfit. No worries either if your purpose or whys shift over time. The point is to start with whatever gets and keeps you going now. You can revise your purpose as you go if needed. As Dr. Hill pointed out in his talk, the single greatest challenge to keeping lost weight off is staying motivated. Losing weight is hard. Keeping it off is harder. Even harder yet is being obese or overweight.

 

Signed copy of State of Slim

Key part is sentence 3: “Dear Kymberly, You are the best. Jim Hill” Signed with minimal coercion.

Wondering about Steps 2-4? Then either get State of Slim or subscribe to our site as we will be bringing you the highlights from FitSocial and the juicy (water based, low sugar, non GMO juice) totally fresh and accurate info about fat, weight loss, future trends in health, and more. You will be surprised at some of what’s to come. I was and I have been a fitness pro more than 30 years!

Kymberly is showing proper respect for Dr. HIll and her blue Lorna Jane Activewear top!

Be one of the first to know the latest:

A) subscribe to our YouTube channel and blog.

B) Follow us on google +Alexandra and +Kymberly, on Twitter:  AlexandraFunFit and KymberlyFunFit and Instagram: KymberlyFunFit and AlexandraFunFit.

C) Hire us to speak at your next meeting or conference. Call (805) 403-4338 or email info@funandfit.org.

14

Boulder, FitSocial, and Going Back Home

Alexandra Williams, MA
Pearl Street in the Sun

Pearl Street in the Sun

Have you ever gone back to visit a place where you used to live? I’ve done that three times this year, including the FitSocial conference in Boulder this past weekend. For me, these are emotional returns, both for regrets and joys that occurred in those places. Do you have the same reaction?

This past weekend Kymberly and I traveled to Boulder to attend the only conference we know of that unites social media (including blogging) and up-to-date accurate fitness & health research – FitSocial – the “premier conference discussing the communication of cutting-edge health and fitness information to the public via blogging and social media.”

Listening to Every Word we Say at our FitSocial Talk

Listening to Every Word we Say at our FitSocial Talk

 

For me, this was more than a opportunity to speak at a high-class conference; it was a return to the town and home (we still own it) where my boys were born, including a post-flood inspection of the house, which is in a designated flood zone by Boulder Creek. For six years, we lived in Boulder. I thought it was where my boys would grow up, listening to my nagging about stomping snow off their boots, pulling up non-indigenous weeds from the recycled-water veggie garden where we had enough to sustain ourselves for at least a day in case of a Rocky Mountain Zombie Apocalypse. I thought we’d spend many years yelling at passersby to get their dogs off our lawn (organic poop is still poop).

See You, Bridge to CU

See You, Bridge to CU

I loved my job at CU Boulder, which was a 5-minute walk across an old bridge to campus (as you can see, that bridge got washed out by the flood). I loved getting my MA in family counseling in Colorado, joining the multitudes of counselors trying to make a living in blissed out Boulder. But the boys begged their dad to move them to Minnesota (translation – job transfer), so we left in ‘98.

My “babies” are now 16 and 19 and remember nothing of their birthplace except from the stories they’ve been told. But my emotional attachment is strong. We kept the house with the intention of returning to live one day, and I hope that day comes to pass. I also hope the same about my former home in Lake Oswego, Oregon, where we lived for six years. Kept that home too. (Can you tell I love mortgage payments that are always one payment away from total stress?) If my parents had kept our childhood home in Hermosa Beach, I’d probably be trying to save up to buy that one too, having just gone to Hermosa for a day of nostalgic walking around and reminiscing.

We built this from a one-story 700 sq foot dump!

We built this from a one-story 700 sq foot dump!

Colorado is the fittest state of the 50, and Boulder is the fittest town in that state, so it makes perfect sense to hold a fitness conference there. I woke up the very first morning (to a light rain, which didn’t make me feel that confident about the flood’s effects) and walked around Boulder. I had the same emotions as when I visited Oregon in June and Hermosa in early September – peaceful happiness at being back “home” and sadness that it had changed and wasn’t really mine anymore. I felt the pride of being an insider, yet isolation at being an outsider too. Part of me was at peace, walking in the rain sprinkles when few people were about, yet I was also in turmoil as I mentally marked all the places where significant (and insignificant, yet now feeling significant) events had taken place in my past. “Ah, the rocks on Pearl Street where my boys played as toddlers,” gave way to “My babies are almost all grown up and how did that happen?”

Pearl Street has lots of places for kids to play

Pearl Street has lots of places for kids to play

I wanted to stop strangers who looked like locals and tell them I belonged too, yet also was taking lots of “tourist” pictures (surreptitiously, of course). When I met the tenants and got a look around the house, MY house, I felt like telling the them to get out. I also had a strong urge (luckily resisted) to describe the way we built it in detail. Of course they would have found that fascinating!

It’s a happy, full feeling and a sad, regretful feeling to go somewhere that exists as a memory. Maybe I shouldn’t have gone to three cities full of happy, yet “dead” memories in one year. Now I want to move. But it could just be that I am trying to toy with time. Or maybe it’s toying with me. Tell me I’m not alone in this.

Have you gone back after several years to a place where you were happy? How did YOU feel?

Stay tuned later this week for a post from Kymberly that fills you in on a few of the really exciting tidbits from the conference. Some great stuff about weight loss and future trends.

Kymberly at Our FitSocial talk

Kymberly at Our FitSocial talk

Kymberly is living proof that Lorna Jane Activewear is great for Boomers too (though their ads look geared toward our kids).

No matter where you live, follow us:

A) subscribe to our YouTube channel and blog.

B) Follow us on google +Alexandra and +Kymberly, on Twitter:  AlexandraFunFit and KymberlyFunFit and Instagram: KymberlyFunFit and AlexandraFunFit.

C) Hire us to speak at your next meeting or conference. Call (805) 403-4338 or email info@funandfit.org.

3

FitSocial Conference and Boulder Flood Relief

Alexandra Williams, MA
The Boulder Flood

The Boulder Flood

We are leaving this week to attend FitSocial 2013, the blogging and social media conference for the fitness and health industries. It’s being held in Boulder and Denver, Colorado just a few weeks after the devastating floods that destroyed homes, roads, businesses, and lives.

Fitness & Health Social Media Conference
First of all, the conference is “the premier conference discussing communication of cutting-edge health and fitness information to the public via blogging and social media. This conference is a unique combination of blogging, social media, and hard science.” Geared toward fitness professionals and those who love accurate health and fitness information, we went last year and knew we’d return this year.

Quick stretch during FitSocial 2012

Quick stretch during FitSocial 2012

About 100 attendees are registered, which makes it an intimate event, with lots of time to interact with our colleagues and the presenters. On Friday, the conference has been opened up to local Colorado fitness professionals, so the numbers will be slightly higher that day.

So what? Why does it matter how many attendees are there or where they’re from?

Boulder Flood Relief
We are headed to an area that has been seriously impacted by the floods. And a lot of the conferences attendees are locals, which means they probably know someone (perhaps themselves) who lost a lot over the past week. When the few get together, they harness the power of the many!

Whether you’re a guest or resident of Boulder, we think it would be amazing for us all to pitch in to help with the flood recovery efforts. Boulder Flood Relief is a group of volunteers who have organized teams to go wherever help is requested. Please follow them on Facebook. My boys were born in Boulder, and I’m curious to see what the damage is to our home, as it’s only two blocks from Boulder Creek (as we haven’t heard from the tenants, we think things are fine).

As many of us are here only for the duration of the conference, our time is limited. This means we can’t all volunteer to help. What we CAN do is donate money to help the volunteers buy tools and other necessities. One hundred percent of your money goes to support the relief efforts.

Where your donations go

Where your donations go

After you input your donation information, there will be a section for a message. Please put “In the name of the FitSocial conference.” Let’s show Boulder that fitness social media peeps are the best, and that we are here to help!

Watch for our announcement during the conference, as there is likely to be a surprise in store for at least one lucky donor! Again, you can donate by clicking on the Boulder Flood Relief “we pay” link right here.

Thanks!

Follow us:

A) subscribe to our YouTube channel and blog.

B) Follow us on google +Alexandra and +Kymberly, on Twitter:  AlexandraFunFit and KymberlyFunFit and Instagram: KymberlyFunFit and AlexandraFunFit.

C) Hire us to speak at your next meeting or conference. Call (805) 403-4338 or email info@funandfit.org.

 

 

8

FitSocial Conference: A Perfect Choice for Those Who Love Fitness and Social Media

Alexandra Williams, MA and Kymberly Williams-Evans, MA

If you’re a fitness professional or enthusiast, and you use (or plan to use) social media, you will want to attend the FitSocial 2013 Conference the weekend of 26-29 September in Boulder and Denver, Colorado.

Outdoor yoga after hiking the Flatirons in Boulder

Outdoor yoga after hiking the Flatirons in Boulder

5 Reasons to Attend

The organizers of the conference wrote an excellent post about the “5 Reasons Why You Should Attend FitSocial,”  and we hope you’ll read it. In a nutshell, the advantages are:

* Cost
* Science-based fitness & health content
* Expert social media content
* Network opportunities
* Movement classes

This will be our second year attending (and presenting), and we are looking forward to it for the reasons above, plus a few more.

5 More Reasons to Attend

* It’s fairly small, which means we get to interact a LOT with the expert speakers, the sponsors and the other attendees. Fitness pros will especially love the chance to interact closely with representatives from the Anschutz Health & Wellness Center, America On the Move, American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), American Council on Exercise (ACE), LiveWell Colorado, National Association for Health and Fitness, WEGO Health (Truvio), and YogaFit, as well as the world-renowned speakers.

Dr Jim Hill

Weight Loss Expert & FitSocial Speaker Dr. James Hill

* Uh, it’s in Boulder and Denver at one of the best times of year – September. “Nuff said there!
* We get access to a state-of-the-art fitness center. Heck, even the locker rooms are amazing.
* Quality time to hang out with friends, new and old. It’s not possible to overstate how amazingly FUN it is to spend a long weekend with people who are all interested in a fit and healthy lifestyle. It’s like a giant sleepover, but with fitness clothes instead of jammies!
* You will come home with enough RESEARCHED information for loads of blog (or vlog) posts. Doesn’t that make your job easier?

The Flatirons in Boulder

The Flatirons in Boulder

Making Money via Social Media

So now you have 10 good reasons to attend. As a bonus, we’ll add that you can learn about making money via social media at our talk “Building Your Brand and Monetizing Your Fitness Expertise.” Whether you’ve been using social media for years or are just beginning, you want to know some tips for making money from it, right? As a starter (main course at the convention), you will want to read our post, “4 Things You Need to Earn Money via Social Media.”

You do NOT have to be a current blogger. You do NOT have to be a certified fitness pro. You do NOT have to understand the ins and outs of social media. You CAN be a beginner – at social media or fitness. You CAN be a fitness pro who wants an intimate, education-rich conference. You CAN be a fitness enthusiast who wants to know and share accurate information. For example, last year we got some great information about the differences between weight loss and weight management.

CECs for ACE & ACSM Certified Fitness Pros

Yup, besides hearing representatives from these two organizations speak, certified pros will be able to obtain continuing education credits at the conference. Score!

Register for FitSocial

We encourage you to join us. Get yourself all registered up, and start counting the days till FitSocial begins!

Workshops = Continuing Education Credits (and are fun)

Workshops = Continuing Education Credits (and are fun)

 

 

 

 

Score even further when you hire us to speak at your next meeting or conference, or to write your blog posts.  Call us at (805) 403-4338 or email info@funandfit.org.

No matter what you’re doing in September, it’s always time to subscribe to our fitness-related YouTube channel. Have you subscribed yet to our blog? Please follow us on google+Alexandra and +Kymberly, on Twitter: AlexandraFunFit and KymberlyFunFit and Instagram: KymberlyFunFit and AlexandraFunFit.

12

How Do We Leave Obesity Behind?

Kymberly Williams-Evans, MA and Alexandra Williams, MA

Brain image from Dr Eckmann sessionKymberly: Long ago in a faraway galaxy–also called pre-2008 or so–we thought the “grown up” brain was hard-wired and immutable. The exciting news coming from the brain research universe shows how much we have learned since then. In fact, our brains continue to change, rewire, and develop throughout our entire lives. Color me super excited by neuroscience!

Changing Obesity and Habits

Also changing are the rates of obesity. When Alexandra and I scampered through the recent IDEA World Fitness and Nutrition Convention, I made sure to attend the “Healthy Aging Survival Kit” session offered by Dr. Terry Eckmann. Her basic premise: “Our Reality is based on our Perception.” While this belief is centuries old, the scientific data to back it up is new. Such discoveries are especially relevant for those wanting to make life and habit changes.

Thoughts Lead to Weight Loss

A lot of what Eckmann revealed in her presentation dovetails with a teleseminar series Alexandra and I were invited to contribute to: Leave Obesity Behind. For those wanting to lose weight, the key is to recognize that change starts with our thoughts.

Kymberly and Alexandra make a We sign.

WE are a product of what WE think…and a hot night of romance between our parents!

According to studies Eckmann referenced, we now know the following:

    1. You have about 50-70,000 thoughts per day.
    2. You choose the filters through which you assess those thoughts and view your world.
    3. If you want to break a bad habit or add a good one, recognize that your brain takes an average of 66 days to rewire.
    4. The only relationship you are guaranteed to have throughout life is the one with yourself.
    5. Therefore, if you want to develop habits and behaviors that lead to weight loss, you need to start with your thoughts. The ultimate Insider Track!

Alexandra: What kind of thoughts would you have if you were able to access over 25 experts in the field of obesity and weight loss? And if it were via a telesummit that was at no cost and had no catch? Yeah, me too – happy thoughts!

Our colleague Robyn Bennett decided to offer a program that would delve into healthy solutions for weight loss that address the mind, body and spirit. Are you sick of yo-yo dieting or emotional eating? As health professionals, we know that it is difficult to lose a lot of weight if you approach it from a simplistic point of view – “Eat less, Move more” is a good mantra, yet not complete. There has to be a part that addresses the mind, as that is where your power lies.

Kymberly: Remember– your perception shapes your reality. If you want to change your reality you have to shift what you think and perceive. For instance, what message do you see in this phrase:

OPPORTUNITYISNOWHERE

Alexandra: Opportunity is Here Now

For her “Leave Obesity Behind” event, Robyn has interviewed experts who are able to help you:

* Create healthy patterns for weight loss
* Improve your health at any size
* Find solutions for emotional eating and compulsive overeating
* Make exercise fun
* Quit negative self talk and start loving who you see in the mirror
* Teach healthy eating habits to your family
* Feel better about yourself inside and out

We aren’t selling the teleseminar because there’s nothing to buy. This summit goes through August 30, and this is the link to register for Leave Obesity Behind: Discover the Secrets to Eating Right into a Healthier, Sexier You.  And of course, we believe you’ll enjoy the segments with us. We definitely offer some simple, achievable, non-painful tips!

Think Lovely Thoughts and You Can Fly!

Think Lovely Thoughts and You Can Fly!

If you think your friends would benefit, please share the link with them too! Now, if only I could get the lyrics to “Think Lovely Thoughts” from Peter Pan out of my head!

Photo credits: Vintage weight loss ad: DanCentury; Electric Brain Zap: used with permission from Dr. Terry Eckmann; Peter Pan: yumiang

Put on your thinking cap and take advantage of our YouTube channel that offers short videos to support your weight loss goals! Have you subscribed yet to our blog? Please follow us on google+Alexandra and +Kymberly, on Twitter: AlexandraFunFit and KymberlyFunFit and Instagram: KymberlyFunFit and AlexandraFunFit. 

16

Exercise Can Train Your Brain | Key Points from the IDEA World Fitness Convention

Kymberly Williams-Evans, MA

IDEA Brain and Exercise sessionI was feeling excitement but also pressure. If I could name 10 things I had just learned in the IDEA World Convention session, Your Brain and Exercise then I would win a coveted Inspiration Medal!

Those who are regular Fun and Fit followers know that Alexandra and I never saw a mic we didn’t like. Still, the prospect of recapping 10 points off the top of my head in front of 125 fellow fitness pros was a bit daunting. Darn that brilliant and beckoning presenter, Terry Eckmann, PhD, a Minot University Professor, who was presenting this session and another one I attended, Healthy Aging Survival Kit.

Motivated by wanting to bring you the best info on what movement can do for your cognitive skills, I focused. And stroked my notes lovingly. Then jumped up energetically recognizing that activity would increase my recall and memory! How convenient!

I took a deep breath and launched into Fun Fit Facts about our brains and learning. Take a “look see” at this list so you can gain all the benefits of a better brain immediately and throughout the rest of your life:

10 (or so) Facts to Apply to Your Brain Fitness Program

1. If we write something down we anchor that learning. (Works great now, but not as I walked to the front of the room).

2. Our brain weighs about 3-4 pounds, consumes 20% of the body’s energy, uses one-fifth of the body’s oxygen, and comprises around 2% of body weight.  (two down; eight to go and I already wished I’d brought my notes).

3. We have about 50-70,000 thoughts per day (Such as “what if I blank at #9? Do I still earn the medal?).Brainiac Maniac

4. Exercise can literally change the anatomy and physiology of our brain. In 30 minutes we can gain brain matter (who wants more dendrites and ganglia? I do, I do!), have better cognitive skills, improve our memory, increase alertness, and learn better.

5. Every decade after 30 years old we lose 10 percent of our ability to breathe unless we regularly exercise cardiovascularly (If you don’t want to huff and puff your way indecorously through midlife and beyond, then keep up the aerobic training which is also a great brain fitness program!)

6. Our brain loses 1-2 percent of volume after 30 years old unless we move and continue to learn. (Yes, active baby boomers have larger brains on average compared to sedentary ones. Yet another reason to get moving).

7. Good posture sends a message to our brain that we are confident, in control of our lives, and possess self-mastery. (I hope you like this tidbit as it’s so achievable!)

8. 30 minutes of moderate to vigorous aerobic activity:

  • prepares the brain for optimal learning
  • gets oxygen and glucose faster to our brain
  • reduces obesity
  • balances brain chemicals and system functions

(Got a test, presentation, meeting or high stress function coming up? Take a brisk walk or jog ahead of time. You’ll perform better. And you’ll be sweaty, but it’s a healthy price to pay for success).

9. When we exercise our:

  • hormones balance
  • attention increases
  • adrenalin increases
  • motivation increases
  • brain chemicals balance
  • neurotransmitters balance

10. To strengthen our corpus callosum, perform cross lateral movement — moves that cross the midline of the body, such as right elbow to left knee.

11. We best remember information and events that are attached to either a story or an emotional response. (Hmmm, nothing about lists and numbers enhancing memory, so I hope you wonder how this tale ends so you remember it!)IMG_2992

But first, a Freak Out Fit Fact: An obese person has twice the risk of developing Alzheimer’s compared to a lean person. (Starting to think about exercising yet? Or are you exercising to think? Bonus either way).

Inspiration Award from IDEA For those who are active, you probably noticed more than 10 Fun Fit Facts.  You’re welcome! But was I able to conjure up these points in 3 minutes with no prep? Or did the audience have to help me out?

Neither one (insert huge exhale here). As I ticked off item # 8, Dr Eckmann said she was convinced I was award-worthy and hit the applause-o-meter as she hung the award around my neck. At least I think that’s what happened. Since  sitting down to type this, I can’t quite recall….

Slide Photo is allowed courtesy of Terry Eckmann, PhD. Yup, she’s smart, fit, AND nice!

Does your event need education, motivation, and fit-elation? Call us to speak at (805) 403-4338 or email info@funandfit.org.

Think your way to our YouTube channel for short videos that will improve your cognitive advancement and active aging adventure! Have you subscribed yet to our blog? Please follow us on google+Alexandra and +Kymberly, on Twitter: AlexandraFunFit and KymberlyFunFit and Instagram: KymberlyFunFit and AlexandraFunFit.

12

Healthy Eating – Mind and Body: Notes from the IDEA World Fitness & Nutrition Convention

Alexandra Williams, MA

You are What you Eat…and What you Think about What you Eat

IDEA Co-Founder Kathie Davis is enjoying Attune cereal and a twin sandwich.

IDEA Co-Founder Kathie Davis is enjoying Attune cereal and a twin sandwich.

It was a dark and gluten-free night… and sis and I were deciding whether to attend all four days of the annual IDEA World Fitness Convention. Then (thunder sound inserted here), what should happen but a knock at the email!!! Our buddies from Attune Foods invited us to help out at their booth, sharing the goodness that is their cereal.

Saying yes to being at the booth meant we got to talk about (and eat) their Uncle Sam Original and their newest cereal, Uncle Sam Rye & Hemp, which meant we know for a fact that these two have only four ingredients, and sugar isn’t one of them, which plays nicely to my love of healthy foods that make my body healthy, leading to increased brain power that allows me to channel my inner Faulkner and have fun writing one very long sentence!

In other words, it was the start of a weekend with a focus on the relationship between our minds, bodies, and good nutrition. As anyone who has tried to lose weight can tell you, the mind controls the body. When it comes to food, our bodies are a result of what our mind thinks, believes, assumes and creates. Luckily, our minds are malleable! Ponder and assimilate, grasshoppers, ponder and assimilate. In shorthand – P&A.

* If we want to attract healthy relationships, we must be healthy
* Our relationship to food and how we eat reflects how we live, so eat mindfully
* Every thought we have becomes our physical self
* Our thoughts release chemicals into our bodies. When we change our thoughts, we change our physiology
* When you are stressed, put away the utensils and eat with your hands; preferably outdoors
* If you are feeling depressed, eat raw cashews first thing in the morning
* Chronic disease isn’t because we are old; it’s simply the late onset of all the stuff we’ve done to our bodies up to that point
* How old would you be if you didn’t know your chronological age? That is how old your body thinks you are
* The people who live longest are those who are most flexible and adaptable. This includes eating for health, not chemical pleasure. Adapt your diet to increase your longevity
* Organic food is better for your health than cleanses, as your digestive system already renews itself every 3-4 days
* Physically you have a new body every 7-10 years, so it’s not too late to change your eating habits
* Your chronological age does two things – gets you beer and discounts. It’s your biological and psychological age you should focus on
* To improve your digestive system, eat 2 tablespoons of raw, unfermented sauerkraut every day
* Gluten and casein are the two most common causes of inflammation
* You will be healthier eating junk food with someone you like than eating healthy food with someone you don’t
* Medications can help, yet be aware that they silence the symptoms. Meditation can help silence the thoughts that led to the symptoms
* Use food to harmonize, not demonize, your mind, body, and soul

Who can say no to this fruit deliciousness?

Who can say no to this fruit deliciousness?

All the above tips come from Teri Mosey, who has the most unique combination of degrees – a
Bachelor’s in Biochemistry, Master’s in Exercise Physiology, and PhD in Holistic Nutrition.

* Keep a food diary
* Be aware of hunger
* Step self-sabotaging thoughts
* Build resilience
* Be aware of how you eat when alone vs with others
* Read the label before eating
* Take time to enjoy your food
* Turn off distractions
* Consciously tense up your muscles, then relax them when you’re about to make a poor food choice
* Look at pictures of happy events when tempted to stress eat
* Don’t make it personal. You are not good or bad according to what you eat; you are undergoing a process of change

Did you know that the ONLY food directly related to pediatric obesity is sweetened beverages! Back away from the soda (and check those energy and replenish drinks too).

These tips are from Michelle Murphy Zive, MS, RD, and Principal Investigator: Network for a Healthy California.

I came away from the convention with a renewed respect for my body, especially after tear duct surgery on both eyes. I’d say I had a determined look in my eye, but that was actually the swelling. My eyes might not have been working, but my taste buds were, and I came away from the convention with a few boxes of Attune cereal. Scooooore!

Who loves Uncle Sam cereals the most? Tubing expert & presenter Aileen Sheron!

Who loves Uncle Sam cereals the most? Tubing expert & presenter Aileen Sheron!

Back-To-School Rebook Sale
Until this Sunday August 18, Reebok.com is kicking off the Reebok Friends & Family Sale! The Friends & Family Sale is one of Reebok’s biggest sales of the year, so make sure to take advantage of this great offer and get 30% off your entire order by using the code FF30 through Sunday if you’re in the market for fitness apparel or shoes.

Reebok has also marked down some of the hottest apparel and footwear in their Sale Section including Classic leather and Zigs in a variety of colors, styles, and sizes! Men’s, women’s and kid’s hoodies, jackets, shorts, sports bras, and t-shirts are on sale too! We thought the sale was a good deal so we’re sharing it!reebok shoes

 

 

 

Your event needs education, motivation, and fit-ucation? Call us at (805) 403-4338 or email info@funandfit.org.

Grab a fruit smoothie and head on over to our YouTube channel to view short videos that will improve your fitness! Have you subscribed yet to our blog? Please follow us on Google+Alexandra and +Kymberly, on Twitter: AlexandraFunFit and KymberlyFunFit and Instagram: KymberlyFunFit and AlexandraFunFit.

17

Replace Health Cares with Healthy Habits (from BlogHer)

Kymberly Williams-Evans, MA

BlogHer Conference 2013Are you striving to improve some of your habits? Aren’t we all?! If you had the opportunity to easily and immediately change a few habits to improve your health and happiness would you be interested? Then stick with me sistuhs (and a few brothahs!)

I just returned from the BlogHer 2013 Conference in Chicago, where I was part of a panel entitled “Healthy Habits That Will Change Your Life.”  The other experts included Dr. Travis Stork, ER physician and host of “The Doctors,” professional organization guru and author, Andrew Mellen, weight loss inspiration and certified fitness trainer, Erika Nicole Kendall, and real food champion, Lisa Leake.

While this diverse panel had many great suggestions, their takeaway points (and mine, I humbly add in a totally not humble kind of way) are gems. Let us know whether you adopt some of these habits as they are designed to be Super Simple. Yes, we are leading off with words that start with S.

4 S Words to Better Health Habits

We’ll start with Dr. Travis, as he is the celeb of our bunch, and cute to boot! You get mnemonic advice from him. To start today with simple solutions, remember 4 S’s

  1. Stand More, Sit Less
  2. Watch Sugar Intake
  3. Look to Reduce Stress
  4. Sleep Sufficiently

The medical professional in him added that by developing these S word habits, you will get Sick less often and handle illness better. If you are paying attention you will note Dr. Travis gave you a bonus S in that first tip. So  Dr. Travis Stork can’t count, but he sure can save lives and help you live better! Our panel existed courtesy of Dr. Travis and his affiliation with Simple Saline which sponsored him. More key S words!

The FIT Principle

Make walking a daily habitNext up, you get my quick and memorable fitness tips. When you are looking to improve your movement habits, keep in mind the FIT principle:

  • F = Frequency.  How often are you working out?
  • I = Intensity. How hard are you willing to exercise?
  • T = Time. How long will your movement sessions last or total up to?

Change only ONE of these elements at a time, about every two weeks. When we are gung ho to improve our exercise habits, we try to conquer prior poor habits too fast.  As you make more movement part of your new, improved, more refreshing life go with what you can sustain over time.  Going harder and longer and more often all at once is a statistical road to failure. Up the ante one letter at a time –  more F or I or T. No “ands.” No “buts.”

Ingredient Literacy

For food advice, mom and “real food” go-to gal, Lisa Leake of 100 Days of Real Food distilled her wealth of experience into 3 key points:

  1. Read ingredient labels. Don’t get caught up in calorie counting, total fat, percentage of carbohydrates. Just read the labels and look for real foods.
  2. Buy nothing that has more than 5 ingredients.
  3. Don’t buy food that has ingredients you would not have at home such as all those chemicals no one can pronounce or spell.

Lisa’s basic premise is that if she can change her eating habits and those of her family, anyone can. She admits to starting with zero idea of nutrition and few cooking skills. She was a mom with a desire to raise healthy children and a commitment to start somewhere. Lisa gave herself and her family 100 days’ to see whether new habits would stick and found herself on a lifelong journey to better eating.

The Triumvirate of Organizational Triumph

Book by Andrew Mellen, Unstuff Your LifeMany of us have experienced that an organized environment usually means a free, clear, and organized mind. When we clear physical clutter, we make room for our minds and bodies to operate. Author of the best selling book, Unstuff Your Life, Andrew Mellen suggests three strategies to shift to healthier habits:

  1. Have only one home for everything.
  2. Put like with like.
  3. Promise yourself that if something comes in then something goes out.

Cluttered room“Simple to remember,” claims Andrew. No putting keys either on the dresser or in the purse or by the refrigerator. Once in the door, your keys go always in the same spot and only that spot. One home for each item, not a vacation back up villa.

Trying to  decide whether important papers go in the office file except that one set of super important papers, which you are thinking of stashing somewhere special because they are super special papers? No, no, no my pretties. If it looks like the other stuff, acts like the other stuff, and smells like the other stuff, it all goes together in those files. Like with like.

Out shopping and hearing a tchotchke calling your name and credit card number? Then be ready to give up something first, because if you bring something new into the house, something else has to get the heave ho. Such an approach will help keep clutter and stuff down.

Moderation from our Moderator

Our super savvy moderator, Erika Nicole Kendall stuck to her moderator role — to deftly herd the rest of us while underplaying her input. So she did not offer takeaway tips, but took audience questions to wrap up our time. Her blog, the Black Girls Guide to Weight Loss, about losing 170 pounds and becoming a fitness professional is worth following however.

To understand better the reasons Sleep, Stress, and Sugar are such culprits, read 3 Stealth Saboteurs of Your Weight Loss. That Dr. Travis is such a Fun and Fit twin wanna be with his advice.

transcript from BlogHer of Healthy Habits That WIll Change Your LifeIf you are super motivated to make  changes for the better with your daily habits, then read the transcript of our entire session. Some of the transcription has odd words here and there, but you will get the full gist and benefit of our collective wisdom if you follow the link. Attendees paid almost $400 to get such scoop live, so take advantage of the free education while you can!

Which habit are you improving to chase your health cares away and live better another day?

Sure we attend events; however we also speak at them. With energy and humor.  So why not hire us for your next meeting or conference?  Call us at (805) 403-4338 or email info@funandfit.org.

One GREAT habit you can start today is to subscribe to our YouTube channel to access short videos that will improve your fitness level and make you happy! Have you subscribed yet to our blog? Please follow us on google+Alexandra and +Kymberly, on Twitter: AlexandraFunFit and KymberlyFunFit and Instagram: KymberlyFunFit and AlexandraFunFit.

Photo Credits: Messy room –  puuikibeach  BlogHer logo – BlogHer