Saturday, January 26, 2013

THE 80/20 RULE

The 80/20 rule is the best piece of advice that I picked up at the Craving Change workshop.

We were told that no one is perfect and there is no need to feel guilty if we stray away from our healthy eating once in awhile.

The rule is: 80% healthy and 20% splurge.

This means that the majority (80%) of the food you eat should be healthy (whole grains, veggies, lean meats, etc). The other 20% can be used to indulge in an unhealthier option. You can split the rule by the meals you eat or the total calories you consume, to the quantity of food or the quality of food.

The most popular method is to do a weekday/weekend split which focuses on good habits during the workweek and loosening up on the weekend.

This is the method that Al & I use. It seems to work best for us for two reasons...

#1, weekends (his are Sat.Sun.Mon.) are when Al is home from work so our eating schedules aren't as rigid. Plus that is the time that we are more likely to eat out especially if we take one of our out of town shopping trips one of those days.

#2, for myself, I use it as a reward well during the week, treat myself on the weekend. It makes it so much easier to get through the week eating healthy small portions knowing that on the weekend I can indulge my craving.

Mind you, we don't go hog wild and pig out every day, all day long, lol. It's just a guilt free zone where we can have a higher calorie/less healthier meal without feeling remorse.

For instance, during the week, we'll have healthy cereal for breakfast. But come the weekend, it's bacon, egg and toast. LOL...not a full truckers special but just one fried egg, one piece of bacon, one slice of toast :)

Another way to apply the 80/20 rule in a healthy lifestyle is with exercising. You can't just eat healthy food and expect to lose weight. You've got to get in at least 30 minutes a day of some activity that raises your heart rate.

LOL...and no, you can't eat junk food 20% of the time and exercise 80% of the time, it's just not going to work!

The 80/20 rule can also be applied to other situations while striving for a healthy lifestyle and these will be covered in future postings.


Think about how you will be able to incorporate the 80/20 rule into your healthy lifestyle. What is your food weakness? Which food tempts you the most?

Okay, it comes as no surprise to you all, that my reward on the weekends is chocolate! Looking forward to hearing from you...If you choose to try out this rule, comment below on which method you chose and how it worked out for you :)

NEXT WEEK'S BLOG: my secret to weight loss (according to Al)


DISCLAIMER: Whenever I use the word DIET in my blog posts I am in no way suggesting that I have invented/discovered some miracle system to lose weight. Whenever I use the word DIET, I am simply substituting a single word to replace the longer phrase EATING HEALTHIER THAN IN THE PAST.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

WILL(ing to em)POWER

To obtain a healthy lifestyle most of us have two things we need to work on (diet and exercise)...with the help of our willpower...we must be willing to empower ourselves to make changes and improve our chances of living a longer happier healthier life :)

As you all know, I am a chocoholic. I keep a stash of chocolate up on the top shelf of my bedroom closet. It's funny how old habits are hard to break...I still buy chocolate especially when I see something new or an old fave that sets my tastebuds off right there in the store. LOL...inadvertently my willpower has turned me into a chocolate hoarder! Can you believe that I have chocolate in there from last Christmas? I don't mean the one just passed, I mean Christmas 2011! I think I should start choosing my treats by date bought and not by what strikes my fancy at the time.

I test my willpower almost every day and I must admit that I am quite proud of myself. I'll head upstairs and open the bin and look through everything trying to decide which to eat that day. And surprisingly, most days I close up the bin and head back downstairs empty handed. Just the thought of the extra calories perhaps adding fat to the muffin top I am already struggling to remove is enough to squash the urge in it's tracks. LOL...but other days I am thinking what the heck I want this chocolate NOW!

LOL...I am not superwoman...when I open up a chocolate bar, I do not divide it up into pieces, I eat the whole thing!

Now that I've shared what I need willpower for the most, please share (in the comments area) what you think will be your biggest obstacle. In a future blog we will delve into alot of healthy and unhealthy foods that we need willpower to add or remove from our diet.


Future blog posts/topics will cover the good the bad and the ugly about food choices. A healthy diet is such a multi-level endeavor with so many variables to tackle.

Personally this is the area where I needed the most willpower.


Personally, this was the easiest for me ...

... all I had to do was get off my butt and do it, lol!


This week we have a double for diet and one for exercise.


LOL..yup, that's right, do not add any salt to your food! Think you can do it?

At first I was skeptical, thought all the fun would be taken out of my meals. I was surprised to find that most food was still tasty enough for me. For years and years, out of habit, I would always sprinkle salt onto my food without even tasting it first. Nowadays I rarely add salt to anything.

One observation that really opened my eyes...I can't believe how salty some food items are now that I'm not used to a salty palette. Of course, at the top of that list is fast food. As a matter of fact, whenever I do eat at a fast food joint, I end up with chapped lips. The biggest culprit...pre-salted fries!

For this challenge, just start out with one day...see if you can make it through the day without adding salt. If you survive that,lol, how about going for 2 days, 4 days, 1 week?

Please come back to the blog in a day or so to share your experience. How many days did you last? Was there any food that you thought you couldn't eat without salt but found out it was doable? For me,that was eggs. In fact, I discovered that I can eat anything without adding my own salt, but there are still a few times when I feel the urge to sprinkle when a particular item tastes too bland.


For this challenge, while watching tv...just get up and move during the commercials!

Take a walk to the fridge for a drink of water. Take a walk to the door and let the dog out. Take a walk over to the window and check the weather. Take a walk around the house picking up dirty dishes.

Or just stand up beside your chair and do a mini-workout. Wake up your body, lol, move your arms & legs, stretch, twist, dance :)

Please come back to the blog in a day or so to share your experience. Were you able to move around during every commercial? LOL...easy peasy right?


With all this talk about will(ing to em)power, I've got good news for doesn't have to be engaged all the time...which brings us to THE 80/20 RULE...tune in next week to learn more.


DISCLAIMER: Whenever I use the word DIET in my blog posts I am in no way suggesting that I have invented/discovered some miracle system to lose weight. Whenever I use the word DIET, I am simply substituting a single word to replace the longer phrase EATING HEALTHIER THAN IN THE PAST.

Sunday, January 13, 2013


The #1 key to success in achieving a healthy lifestyle (according to me) is willpower. LOL...without it you are fighting a losing battle...against yourself!

I discovered this early on last year. I was actually surprised that I had so much of it. I wonder if the amount of willpower comes with the amount of candles on your birthday cake? Because I sure didn't have it years ago, thus the state I was in.

I think that everyone should test out their willpower when they first start to notice that they are gaining weight. It's like that old saying...

If only we could know how much weight we'd pack on and how it would affect our health, we'd know when to kick our willpower into high gear and avoid later hardships.

Something else I noticed is that a person's attitude affects their willpower. If you aren't "in the mood" for changing your lifestyle, it just isn't going to happen. You have to really want to do it...and you really have to understand that it isn't going to be easy.

Different people have different motives for changing...some succumb to peer pressure ( I think this is mostly the younger generation) and includes media hype about image...some are bullied by their mate or families to lose weight...some have no choice due to medical issues...and some just snap out of their junk-food-induced stupor, lol, like I did.

Actually, it was the fact that I was on the brink of having medical issues to deal with that had me "scared straight". When my doctor said that my 3 levels (cholesterol, blood pressure & blood sugar) were above normal and would need medication to control them, I panicked! I had visions of a life spent sitting in doctor's waiting rooms, countless visits to labs for tests and the monthly budget drained by prescriptions.

I've never been one to visit doctors unless absolutely necessary and I wasn't about to start. I asked her if she'd give me time to work on a healthier lifestyle before putting me on meds, she set me up with a dietitian and agreed to give me 6 months to do so.

I can't believe how things turned out...I left her office thinking that I'd lose 5 lbs. and all would be good. Little did I know the success I would have and what amazing results I would have at my 6 month checkup...slimmer and is good :)

To sum it all up, I suppose it comes down to have to want to make the change yourself, not for anyone else, not for any other reason, you have to do it because it will make you happy :)

I really wish that I had started this blog last year...I think the journey would have been so much easier and enjoyable if I'd had company. But I have to admit, I wasn't alone all year though. I was overjoyed when Al decided that if I could do it, so could he. We've had alot of laughs especially while exercising :)


This week, I'd like for you to delve deep inside yourself and ponder why you are ready to change your lifestyle.

Ask yourself these 3 questions:
1. Are you just wanting to improve your eating habits, are you just ready to start/increase exercising or are you just ready to do both?
2. Is your goal to improve your health, to lose weight or to do both?
3. What was the catalyst that changed your attitude to give you the willpower to start now?

Once you've figured that all out, please share your revelations with us in the comment area :)


Next week we explore the 2 areas we'll need to use our willpower in...healthier eating habits and exercise :)


DISCLAIMER: Whenever I use the word DIET in my blog posts I am in no way suggesting that I have invented/discovered some miracle system to lose weight. Whenever I use the word DIET, I am simply substituting a single word to replace the longer phrase EATING HEALTHIER THAN IN THE PAST.

Sunday, January 06, 2013


... and it's time for the post-holiday confession booth & the dreaded 1st weigh-in of the year:

The holiday season is over and it's time to work on our new year's resolutions. Did you make one? If it had anything to do with your health or weight, would you like to share it with us? you need help sticking to it? We can support each other along the way :)

It seems to me that at some point your body says " okay lady, this is as far as I'm going, I am happy right here, no more weight loss for me". I've noticed this for the past several months...the pounds just aren't going to fall off as quickly as they did for the first half of last year. So I'm joining my body with being happy at the weight I am now. Good grief, I had started out thinking I'd just lose 5 lbs. to make my doctor happy. LOL...don't get me wrong though, if a few more pounds here and there decide to trickle off by the wayside, I'm not going to be upset!

So with that said, my new year's resolution shouldn't be too hard to maintain, in fact, it should be so much easier than last year's since all I have to do is continue the rhythm of life I've become familiar with :)


 Being on a strict diet for the whole year and then telling yourself you are free to eat whatever you want for the last 2 weeks of the year is opening up a whole can of worms lol...

Everything in the store looks sooo good, especially if it's chocolate confections or spicy appetizers. So you overbuy!! Even with having the 4 kids here for 3 days (and taking care packages back with them) we figure we've got enough goodies left to last us until next Christmas!

Even though you have your heart set on pigging out, your stomach just isn't big enough to handle it all (if you've been eating smaller portions, it will rebel when given larger ones).

Who knew that enjoying rich chocolate/caramel desserts, salty nuts/popcorn/chips, posh sparkling cocktails would result in gas pains, bloating, heart burn...not a fair trade at all, lol.


Does anyone have anything they'd like to get off their chest, lol, or off their waistline?

I didn't pig out as much as I thought I would. Sadly there are some boxes of chocolates that didn't even get opened. But I did try at least one piece of each baking selection. My two fave new treats this year were Desiree's chocolate covered strawberries and a huge chocolate covered, nut sprinkled caramel apple from Independent Grocers. Just a coincidence that both were "healthy" fruits :)

But I must confess that I drank elf cocktails every evening for about a week or so until the bottles of vodka and melon liqueur were empty.'s a wonder I didn't end up with pointy ears!


Stepping on the scales is our first weekly challenge.

Does that scare you, lol? I hope not and that you'll be brave enough to join in on our monthly weigh-ins. You can share your weight in the comment area or you can keep it to yourself, the choice is yours.

Do you know your weight from before the holidays? Did you gain any weight? Would you like to share with us whether your weight stayed the same, went up or went down? (No need to mention pounds if you're not comfortable doing that)

If you didn't gain any, I congratulate you! You've got more will power than I do when the Christmas holidays come along. It's the one time of the year that I must enjoy myself fully :)

I gained a couple of pounds...but luckily my new clothes still fit or I'd have been having a hissy fit...even if it was my own fault, lol! That weight gain was discovered at new years but at today's weigh-in the 2 lbs. are gone. I give the credit for that to Anthony who gave me 3 lb. hand weights for Christmas...they are killers and really amped up my workouts!

Don't feel bad if you have gained aren't the only one...and as this chart shows, you are in the majority. And if you lost weight, wow, that's amazing, there is only a slim portion of you (haha pun intended)!

Looking forward to reading & replying to your comments :)

Next week's blog: The #1 key to success in achieving a healthy lifestyle (according to me)


DISCLAIMER: Whenever I use the word DIET in my blog posts I am in no way suggesting that I have invented/discovered some miracle system to lose weight. Whenever I use the word DIET, I am simply substituting a single word to replace the longer phrase EATING HEALTHIER THAN IN THE PAST.