Beware of what in the “fitness world ” is refered to as the “Honeymoon Period” – this is the 6 week time period between New Years Day and Valentines Day. Similar to that blissful period of the Honeymoon in a marriage, in committing to a healthy lifestyle – the beginning is when there is a great deal of energy and enthusiasm. The gyms are bustling, and we are diligently trying to eat right. So what happens? According to numerous studies - by Valentines Day, many people have fallen back into old habits, and the enthusiasm dies down.
The good news is - it only takes about *4 – 6 weeks for something to become a habit and probably less time for us to integrate something so totally that we are no longer aware of it. *Some sources indicated it can take as little as 21 days for an action to become a habit.
So how can you make your fitness commitments last beyond the “Honeymoon Period?” Below are 3 easy Guidelines for Health & Fitness Success:
1. Keep Your Expectations Real:
While it would be nice, there are no magic pills or exercises that will whip us into shape overnight. that said we do have the CA Living:Toned -By -Tonight Workout that will make your muscles look more defined for a big night out On-Demand, and the California Living Beach Body Workout - a terrific 20 minute total Body Workout On-Demand for you to check out when time - or a lack of it is a factor in reaching your short term fitness goals.
Keep your expectations realistic – aim to loose 1-2 pounds a week. You may experience more weight loss early on – which is natural – yet the healthiest weight loss plans will not shock your body into shedding large amounts of weight in an (unhealthy) short amount of time.
The secret is balance – your fitness goals are just one part of your life – and should not consume your every waking moment – nothing should – that would be a terribly unbalanced and unhealthy way to live. Most of us have jobs, families, and many other daily commitments beyond working out. Sure there are celebrities that lose weight or “get buff” for their next film who work at it 24/7 – but unless your planning to audition to be the next “Rambo” give it a rest! Your results will come – in time! By understanding this and keeping things in perspective you will be able to work towards your goals over a longer period of time.
2. Set up a Goal and Reward System:
It is important to have goals like – “I want to be in a bikini this summer,” – or I want to run a 5K or 10K this spring.” By setting up intermittent goals along the way and rewarding yourself for reaching these goals you will keep your enthusiasm high and have mini-milestones to look forward to achieving.
For example, going 30 days without eating junk food, or going down a size in your jeans are reasons to celebrate! By setting up non-food related rewards such as a day at the spa, a shopping spree (please don’t blame it on me), or a movie night out with your friends (hold the butter & salt please!), you will feel good about your progress along the way and be less likely to throw in the proverbial towel.
3. Work in that Workout!
What happens when we say to ourselves “I’ll get to it – right after I do this…or – I’ll do it tomorrow” – the “it” usually never happens because we did not consciously plan it into our daily or weekly routine. Create a schedule that works for you – three days a week – every other day, 30 – 60 minutes everyday – Making exercise a part of your life means making it work with the rest of your life.
The beauty of exercise is you can combine it with things you love, hiking, biking, rowing, walking – I know it’s easy to say and harder to do – but seriously, try scheduling an activity you love once a week. While the winter weather presents some challenges you can swim indoors, shoot hoops, or even play a game of tennis indoors – in Cali anyway! You can also work with a trainer and create a kick-butt workout at your local gym and combine it with a fun spin or dance class to keep it interesting. Try adding kick boxing, yoga, or Pilate’s to your routine – you’ll challenge your mind and body in different ways and meet new people who share similar interests – a great fringe benefit!
All the best with your goals – Enjoy! Aprilanne
Aprilanne Hurley SFN is a Certified Specialist in Fitness Nutrition, author ofThe Party Girl Diet, and the Health Expert for California Living, the Bay Area’s original lifestyle show featuring California’s trends in food, travel, and healthy living. Hurley’s new book, The Party Girl Diet is a healthy, sustainable lifestyle plan combining today’s groundbreaking health and nutrition research with Hurley’s penchant for good living to deliver a revolutionary new diet and lifestyle that lets you “Keep the Party Going…While You Lose the Weight!”
Content on this site is provided for educational and informational purposes. It is not intended to cure, treat, or diagnose any disease or illness. Please consult with your health care provider prior to starting any new diet or exercise program.
Aprilanne Hurley, Author of The Party Girl Diet offers a new lifestyle for the healthy “party girl” in all of us. The healthy party girl enjoys her life, eats and drinks in moderation, & exercises regularly to keep healthy and fit.”
People can now enjoy a lifestyle without the deprivation and restrictions typical of fad-diets with the fun NEW, healthy Party Girl Diet. You can have that glass of wine or a cocktail at happy hour, and you can enjoy a wide variety of delicious foods and lose weight while you are having the time of your life.
Take feasting on oysters for instance, proposed aphrodisiac effects aside – oysters are considered one of the most nutritionally well balances foods as they contain protein, carbohydrates and lipids. Extremely low in calories one dozen oysters contains approximately ONLY 110 calories, and they are full of vitamins, and possess the omega-3 fatty acids that are good for our skin, brain, and muscles.
Now lets take a look at the notion that oysters are an aphrodisiac - and where the story originated from. As the legend goes – the love goddess Aphrodite rose out of the sea in an oyster shell, and the “guilty by association” rule kicked in for oysters, which century after century have gained by this association with Aphrodite the reputation of enhancing the feelings of sexual desire and performance of those mortals who eat them.
As far as oysters being great aphrodisiacs – apparently there is no scientific proof to substantiate such a claim. But don’t let that prevent you from thinking what you want to think about them as research shows the psychological impact of believing that oysters are aphrodisiacs can sometimes be strong enough to produce a greater sexual desire or performance - temporarily anyway.
To add a flavor boost with anti-aging health benefits try my “Anti-Aging Garlic Butter Sauce” Recipe below on BBQ’D oysters - and pair your BBQ’D oysters with a sparkling beverage such as champagne, beer, or sparkling water to indulge in a most sumptuous pairing with nature’s perfect food ~ oysters. Oh, and if your in the mood for love…eating a few dozen oysters and just thinking they are aphrodisiac may just do the trick! Aprilanne
To make my “Anti-Aging” Garlic Butter for 2 dozen BBQ’D Oysters:
First: Mince 3 cloves garlic – let sit 10 minutes to enhance disease fighting properties.
Second: Melt 3 heaping tablespoons of a healthy butter-like spread (or butter if you must) to 1 1/2 – 2 tablespoons first cold pressed olive oil in the microwave for 10 sec. increments at a time or on the stove top – keep an eye on it as it will melt fast and you don’t want it to burn.
Then – Add a few cubes of frozen basil (get in frozen section at Trader Joe’s). You can also finely chopped 5 -6 fresh basil leaves too - but the frozen variety is micro-fine and blends really well into the butter/olive oil mixture.
Next: Coarsely chop a few springs of fresh Rosemary, or the herb of your choice and mix all ingredients together well in a small bowl.
Now - once your oysters have opened up on the grill (they have been cooking at medium heat witht the lid down for about 5 – 10 minutes depending on your grill and the temp. you have it set on) – split open and spoon enough sauce onto each oyster to cover the oyster meat and grill another few minutes until sauce gets slightly bubbly.
Then…ENJOY! You can make this a great, light meal by adding a Ceasar salad, a loaf of crusty whole grain or french bread for dipping in the extra sauce, and a sparkling beverage which will pair well with the oysters.
Sometimes it can take a big rain storm like the one we have been experiencing over the last few days here in the Bay Area for us to assess our emergency supplies and update them with fresh batteries, meal replacement bars, etc., in the event we may need them.
Now while it may be hard to get excited about flashlights, first aid kits, and portable radios - I offer you an easy albeit sneaky way to incorporate “emergency prepardness” supplies into your holiday offerings this year by mixing them in with the other more tantelzing goodies in your family’s holiday stockings!
Granted, one could consider sticking bows on first aid kits and bright holiday stickers on flashlights the equivalent of putting “lipstick on a pig” - yet this simple activity towards “Being Prepared” is ultra-easy to execute as most of the “Readiness” supplies one needs can be picked up on that last minute dash to the grocery store TODAY!
Be creative - you can also design a “last minute” gift around a loved ones hobbies, for instance you can go with a gardening theme and mix in emergency supplies in a flower pot with gardening tools, seeds, etc, for your elderly neighbor who loves to putter in the yard – or include an emergency travel supply kit with some car cleaning gear, and cool car gadets in a bucket for that dad who is into keeping his car in mint condition…you get the picture!