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Messages By: mugsy2002

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July 28, 2005, 5:39 am CDT

Breaking Unhealthy Habits

Quote From: shelly2003

 Both my dad and grandpa died from Heart disease and Sugar Diabetes. I take after my dads side of the family and I need to lose about 30 pounds. I exercise and drink lots of water but it doesn't seem to help. What am I doing wrong?

  It's hard to say what's going on. I have about 15 pounds to go, but it's coming off s=l=o=w=l=y....

Personally, I've found that exercise is my greatest ally. It's hard work and is a huge time management concern. I walk with a friend four nights a week, and we try diligently to schedule our lives around our workout. Two days ago when it was raining, I stationary biked 20 miles. Last night my friend and I walked 5.2 miles.


  I also think that different things work well for different people. Personality is an important consideration. Do what you LOVE to do. (I love to walk and bicycle outdoors). Other people may prefer golfing or tennis. You decide what will keep you active AND happy.


A few thoughts are listed below...perhaps something will "ring a bell" for you. Hang in there!



My best success depends on:




1. Small portions of good food (lots of fresh fruits and vegetables plus whole grains)


2. Very small portions of sweets (but an occasional bite sized chocolate mint won't undo the successes to date)


3. Exercise regularly with a friend


4. Choose exercise that is really fun (I love to bicycle and/or walk with a friend)


5. Calorie counting (or points counting) helps


6. Manage stress on a daily basis (Find nonfat ways to relax and be happy; don't spend a day without a smile in your heart)


7. Join a local weight loss group for encouragement and weekly weigh-ins (This really helps keep


the goal in front of us)


8. I must watch sodium carefully. On some days I refuse to eat any processed food (almost all of which contains sodium...often very high levels-just eat fresh fruits, vegetables, unsalted nuts for protein, lots of water, etc.)


9. Consult a trainer, nutritionist, or exercise physiologist (Your local health department should have someone available to assess your eating/exercise lifestyle)


10. Celebrate success with a friend....but don't go out to eat to celebrate!


11. Ask friends and family on the home front to be very supportive


12. Get all the junk food out of the house!


13. Turn off the tv (except when Dr. Phil is on...:>) )


14. Work exercise into short intervals throughout the day. (If you're watching Dr. Phil, plan on walking while the TV is on. Never sit and watch Dr. Phil.  Or plant your TV in front of the treadmill...and tell a friend you never watch TV without exercising....that will help keep you on track and minimize a sedentary lifestyle)


15. Keep a weight chart


16. Write down what you're eating


17. Record exercise completion (One month I recorded something like 50 miles of walking and 15 miles of bicycling...not much...but it's still encouraging to "see" what has been accomplished!


18. Eat healthy foods before going to any parties


19. Knock off empty calories (sodas, potato chips, French Fries, etc.)


20. Call a friend on the phone for a few words of encouragement


21. Exercise outside in safe areas where you really feel the benefits of "getting out" of the house


22. Set up a reward for your successes (Buy that wonderful watch you have wanted, but do it after you lose 20 pounds)


23. Also set up short term rewards rather than waiting to reach a goal. For example, if you lose this week, call a gym to schedule a massage or buy that new bike helmet or new walking shoes you have wanted


24. Put a dime in a reward jar for each day that you don't exceed a set number of calories or for every half hour you exercise. With an hour workout in the morning and an hour workout in the early evening, you'll have over $140 by this time next year, and you can by an inexpensive folding bicycle that will easily go into the back seat of your car.

25. Keep a positive outlook. Repeatedly say "I CAN do this! I SHALL do this!"  Then do it!


26. Buy a Lance Armstrong "Live strong" bracelet and wear it when you exercise...or when you're tempted to munch on "junk"


27. Have some healthy snacks readily available. I keep an icy cold bottle of citrus flavored diet green tea in the fridge...ready to guzzle when I get the munchies. (Our local large grocery stores are having trouble keeping it on the's in such demand. VERY refreshing! Has a little bit of sodium, but not enough to worry about) I bought a whole case of it, so I won't run out and munch on CHOCOLATE!


28. Ask for nutrition charts when you eat out, and do it BEFORE you order. You may be shocked into ordering something a little healthier OR printout a restaurant's nutrition chart before leaving for the restaurant.

29. Read inspiring success stories.


30. Find someone who is a great cheerleader and call them or drop them a line when you have a success!


31. Find an inspiring way to feel good about your life. Organize a family photo album with all those vacation pictures thrown in a box. Write poetry. Help a lonely elderly neighbor a few hours a week. Visit your local Children's Hospital and volunteer to read to the kids or just visit with them. Learn a musical instrument you always wanted to play. Write your own healthy cookbook from those great original "recipes" that you have concocted. In other words, keep your life full and fulfilling.


32. Get plenty of rest so you don't feel a lot of stress and overeat.


33. Really reflect on what you're eating and "why" you're eating it.


34. Keep a journal.


35. Keep a good outlook, even when you hit a "plateau." Just crank up the exercise...walk an extra half mile.


36. Try some new exercise. Go to the community pool. Swimming is an "excellent" stress reducer.


37. Focus on healthy living. What are your successes?


38. Learn from mistakes, but live in the present. You can't undo the donut you ate yesterday. You can only replace it with a garden salad and delicious low cal dressing today.


39. Announce to a good friend that you are planning on losing 2 pounds this week. Ask them to check back with you to see if you're on track.


40. Make good health your number one priority. Anything else you have to do in life depends on good health.


41. Surround yourself with positive reinforcers. Play uplifting music when at home. Reorganize your furniture so that you're more comfortable. Find inexpensive, colorful prints at a discount store and change your wall hangings frequently. Choose clothing that really complements you.....the outfit that you wear when people tell you how great you look! What is your "color?" Wear it!


42. Associate with people who have a positive outlook and who share your goals!


43. Pay close attention to how you mood shifts when in the company of depressed and negative people. Are your shoulder muscles tight? Carry one of those little "Stress Indicators" with you....if your "color" is black on the stress color strip, reassess what's going on in that relationship. I used to think this was a gimmick to sell insurance (Some insurance companies give away small stress indicators on business cards), but one time I was listening to a friend complain in a telephone conversation about everything going wrong in her life. When the conversation began, I was "blue."


Two hours later when I had to cut off the conversation, I was unshakably stressed and unable...totally unable to get the bright blue color back on the strip! can buy a "mood ring"...they're cheap!   :>)


44. Try new relaxation techniques. Study meditation, yoga, or biofeedback. Can you raise your skin temperature 5 degrees in 2 minutes? Why not?


45. Work out with music. An energetic tape will spur you on.


46. Never give up. You will hit plateaus and weeks where the scale barely nudges to a lower fraction of a pound. Just work that much harder.


47. Vary your routine. Walk on a new exercise path. Buy a new tee shirt for exercise. Change your hairstyle instead of eating cookies for fun.


48. Read food labels! Again, your local health department can offer advice on understanding food labels. Watch out for sugars, sodium, and calories that can quickly undermine your efforts. Also, you can go to for nutrition advice.


49. Look in the mirror every day and say "I like who I am." Never reinforce low self esteem by reiterating failure. Don't do it. And, never blame others for how you feel. accept full responsibility for your health and well being.


50. Copy, paste and cut out this list (and others). Put the recommendations on your refrigerator and change the message each day as a reminder to think before opening that door!





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