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Kathleen’s Secret to Avoid Holiday Overeating

Kathleen Bruno is a beautiful, upbeat southern woman who used to be morbidly obese, massively depressed, and stuck in a place where she felt like giving up.  After losing more than 150 pounds and finding a new life at #LiveInFitness, she’s excited to reach out to anyone who is desperate and struggling to make a change.  Please read her story and don’t be afraid to reach out to her…she wants you to.

Hi Everyone,

First, I’d like to say that I hope you had a great Thanksgiving and made it through with minimal damage to your #weightloss efforts. That said, that was just the beginning—now we have the rest of the holiday season to contend with, and that means a big ‘ol Christmas list of things that are going to tempt us to calm our anxiety by #overeating. This list includes, but is not limited to:

1. My flight’s delayed.
2. Thanks for stealing my parking spot. Nice holiday spirit, !@$%face.
3. Yet another holiday party...hey look, more cookies!
4. I’m not sure what gift you want, but I’m going to go broke buying it anyway.
5. Why does my family think we’re suddenly a red sweater-wearing Norman Rockwell painting?
6. Good idea, Dad. You wouldn’t want to ruin that brandy by putting egg nog in it.

That list is by no means complete. In fact, it’s missing the grand-daddy of ‘em all: There’s freaking food everywhere! It’s no wonder people ask me “What do you do to calm your anxiety now that you don’t overeat?” I tell them (I can’t believe this is actually falling out of my mouth)...I #exercise.

Don’t panic. I know that sounds neither glamorous nor fun, but hear me out. You just need to find an #exercise you enjoy. I can’t believe I just wrote that.  People used to say that to me, and when they did, I wanted to scream, “You go strap on an extra 150 pounds and see what #exercise you enjoy!”  

But at some point I stopped fighting it and sought some gentle activities that I could at least not hate. I found one: long walks on the beach. This indulgent form of #exercise supplied by Mother Nature is like a lullaby for me, silencing the dancing demons in my head with each crashing wave. I live on an island, so beach walks are convenient. But if you don’t, find a pretty park, a loop around the lake, a winding mountain path or any place that sings to your soul. Regardless of where you choose, walking is a great place to start, and you’ll be amazed where it leads you.

Case in point...remember how I’ve been saying that I don’t like to #exercise? Well, that’s becoming less true. I started small, and my trainers and fitness freak friends kept telling me that I would start to love #exercise. I thought they were certifiably crazy, but it turns out that they were right...sort of. I still don’t love all of it, but I can’t deny that #exercise...any kind of #exercise...has a great way of releasing those feel good hormones we all crave. The more I do it, the more I want it...like food, but healthy.

My new #exercise love, and this is going to incite laughter (or cringing) from my friends back home, but I’m going to say it anyway: I love pumping iron. I don’t know when I started loving it—it just snuck up on me. One day I’m dreading a small flight of stairs, and the next I’m throwing up heavy weights under the supervision of a hunky trainer who starts calling me “Swag.” Sure, I feel strong and able-bodied. And maybe once I might have finished a set and dropped my weights in an uncharacteristically bravado fashion, but that nickname does NOT fit me. I was going to fight it, but while at one of my favorite local restaurants, I saw a mannequin wearing a dusty, faded T-shirt that had “SWAG” emblazoned on it, and that shirt definitely fit me...so I convinced the server to let me have it.  Sorry, naked mannequin.

My friends and relations, who are normally very supportive, feel the need to warn me against pumping iron, as if my new love is a new boyfriend who’s going to make me bigger. I explain that, yes, this relationship is good for me. I’m healthier, happier, and most importantly pumping iron keeps me from #overeating during this stressful time of year. 

They’re still skeptical and fearful, so I reassure them that I’m not going to “get bulky.” On the contrary, muscle takes up less space in your body than fat (getting smaller), and increasing lean muscle mass increases metabolism, which increases fat burning ability (new muscles equal high-powered cheeseburger burner...making me a little freer to eat without fear). And if lifting weights comes with a small portion of uncharacteristic swagger, so be it. It’s better than the large portions of food I’d be eating otherwise.

As I said before, all #exercise is good, so don’t think you have to turn into Arnold to avoid eating your way through another holiday season. All you have to do is #exercise. You don’t have to like it...at first anyway...you just have to do it. Try exercising 5 to 6 days per week this holiday season, and see if it doesn’t reduce your stress, increase your joy, and stave off the proverbial Average American holiday weight gain. Your crazy uncle will seem much more tolerable, too. Trust me. 
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Live in Fitness Weight Loss Tip Number 3: Use your camera to track your progress. 

The scale is not really the best way to track how you are doing – and can actually demotivate you. The reason is that muscle weighs more than fat. Therefore, when you first start trying to lose weight, you may be getting in shape, but your scale might tell you that you've put on some pounds. When that happens, many people feel like giving up – because it seems like they've put in the work and eaten less but still gained weight! But, this is temporary. It just means you've been working out well and have put on some muscle. 

A better way to gauge your progress is to take a picture of your body in a mirror once a week. Then, post those pictures where you will be able to check them out. Week by week, you'll see the effect diet and exercise are actually having on your body, and you'll realize just how effective your efforts are. Plus, looking at the first picture will remind you of what you looked like when you started – and you'll be motivated to make sure you don't look like that again! 

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10 low-fat, low-calorie recipes for keeping New Year's resolutions: Foodday Favorites

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Water is the healthiest choice!

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Weight Loss Tip Number 18: Eat Breakfast to Ensure Weight Loss Success

Many people think skipping meals is a good way to lose weight. They are wrong. And, when they do skip a meal, it tends to be breakfast – because while trying to get ready to get to work on time, skipping breakfast seems “easy.”

But, what they don't realize it that this is the worst thing they could possibly do. A healthy breakfast helps boost your metabolism. If you skip it, your metabolism will slow down. Beyond that, you'll become hungrier by lunchtime and more apt to overeat – which combined with a slow metabolism will cause you to pack on pounds, even if you are eating healthy foods. 

We always recommend eating smaller meals every 3 1/2 to 4 hours to keep your blood sugar level moderated. Start your day off right and eat a nutritious breakfast! 

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Are you ready for a new you in 2014?

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Live in Fitness Weight Loss Tip Number 22: Just say "NO" to white bread.

Bread is an important part of every diet. It is, in fact, the “staff of life.” It is a primary source of fiber and helps your body regulate itself. But, not all bread is created equal. The most common form of bread in America is white bread – and white bread is chock full of empty calories. 

You are much better off picking up whole wheat or grain bread. It will not only taste better, but it’s also better for your body. These days it's just as easy to find healthy breads as it is white bread, so make white bread a thing of the past and eat healthier, fiber-rich bread instead. 

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Live In Fitness Resort's Weight Loss Tip Number 57: Avoid Starbucks

Starbucks is very popular, and it's hard to walk down the street without passing one. But, Starbucks is your enemy! Not only is their coffee more expensive than most places; nearly all the options are filled with fatty additives that your body doesn't need.

Coffee should be something that warms you up and provides you fuel to get through the day as a special treat. It shouldn't simply be a high caffeine sugary snack. So, get your coffee from a diner or coffee shop that doesn't put a lot of cream and sugary sweeteners into their coffee when you need it. But, please remember that caffeine dehydrates you and that is not good with you are working out. Please try to move from any caffeine at all to water. Water is the source of LIFE. :) 

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Live in Fitness Weight Loss Tip #26: Buy smaller plates

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