Over the past several years I have often referred back to Randy Pausch’s “The Last Lecture” and one of the things he talks about are the brick walls in life. Over the past few days, weeks, and months, I have had my fair share of brick walls. Before starting my journey with Better Bodies I would often just cave in and give up when faced with obstacles.

As I continue each day down this path I have noticed that my way of thinking (along with my appearance) has changed. For example yesterday my car broke down. Old Heather would have cursed the automobile Gods and would have questioned why the bricks keep flying in my direction. This time as I sat in my car on the side of the road I found myself thinking how grateful and fortunate I am to have a car that would break down. I was grateful that I was able to move to the side of the road and not hurt myself or someone else. A sense of calm was making its way through my body. (Well that and I had to pee really bad too). 

I now welcome the brick walls in my life, because the higher and thicker the walls, the more successful I will be.

Personal Gremlins

When it’s time to try something new, do you run right out and jump into it, confident that you are going to succeed with no doubts? Isn’t that a wonderful picture? But, unfortunately, much of the population first has to contend with a little (or a lot) of negative self-talk, a personal gremlin. Are you familiar with the gremlin? The gremlin waits to shoot down our ideas, deflate our elation, and sabotage our plans (sounds like a family member I know) … when we allow it to happen.

Often, this negativity is so commonplace that we don’t even recognize it when it’s occurring; therefore, we are unable to stop it. So, when we carry on with our activities, we are often so full of doubt, harboring feelings of incompetence, and brandishing insecurities that are in essence setting us up for failure – or at the very least a much more difficult road toward success. The worst case scenario is when we allow our gremlins to stop us from even trying to reach our goal. So how do we silence the gremlin and replace it with our own personal cheerleader instead? There are several ways.

Learn to recognize the gremlin for what it is: a THIEF that stifles creativity, hinders success, and paralyzes growth. Begin to listen carefully for that voice and cut it off before its effects can take root. Here are some ideas from the book I’m reading.

               1) Wear a rubber band on your wrist for a month and give yourself a “zing” whenever you hear that gremlin beginning to discourage you. (In my case, a good ol’ fashioned punch to the face would suffice.)

               2) Surround yourself with positive, happy people who do not allow gremlins to steal their successes. First, it becomes very difficult to continuously hear about positive things without some of your own to add. You’ll start looking for ways to join the crowd. Second, the more you are around positive thoughts, the more real they become, and the more you attract the same back to you.

So what are you waiting for? Start “zinging” your gremlins goodbye!

Get A Life! Putting the Laws of Attraction to the test…

This weekend I was given a book titled,  “Life Lessons for Mastering the Law of Attraction.” The Law of Attraction is universal and ultra-powerful. It is like a magnet that is always at work. Basically, the Law of Attraction states that “like attracts like”. In other words, wherever your attention goes, energy flows, and you attract more of that into your life – whether it is wanted or unwanted. Over the past several weeks I have been trying to make changes in my life that will allow me the time to work on my weight loss goals and better myself. Each time I make a decision  and act on it, something else presents itself which distracts me or takes away the time I so desperately need. So, I figured why not give the ol’ Law of Attraction a try.

Life Lesson #1 – Let Your Passion Be Your Guide

Take a moment to think about who you are and who you wish to become. See yourself one year from today. If you could have anything you want and no possible way to fail, what would it be? What do you most want from yourself? When you look back on this period of your life, what do you want to remember? What experiences do you wish to have? What accomplishments?

Write a letter to yourself (uhm, okay) that describes where you will be one year from today based on the questions you have just answered. Date it and seal it in an envelope to be opened only by you, and put it in a safe place where you’ll find it one year from today.

I’m a tied up, food shooting, peppermint sniffing, Smurf who is surrounded by mirrors…

Sounds like a kinky night in, eh? Well, I hate to dash your perverted hopes…but these are Reader’s Digest 5 Bizarre Weight Loss Tricks That Work.
(hahahaha we’ll see about that!)

5 Bizarre Weight Loss Tricks That Work

1. Sniff a banana, apple, or peppermint
You might feel silly, but it works. When Dr Alan R. Hirsch of the Smell & Taste Treatment and Research Foundation in Chicago tried this with 3,000 volunteers, he found that the more frequently people sniffed, the less hungry they were and the more weight they lost – an average of 30 lb each. One theory is that sniffing the food tricks the brain into thinking you’re actually eating it.

PLUS: Easy Ways to Boost Your Metabolism

2. Hang a mirror opposite your seat at the table.
One study found that eating in front of mirrors slashed the amount people ate by nearly one-third. Seems having to look yourself in the eye reflects back some of your own inner standards and goals, and reminds you of why you’re trying to lose weight in the first place.

3. Surround yourself with blue
There’s a good reason you won’t see many fast-food restaurants decorated in blue: Believe it or not, the color blue functions as an appetite suppressant. So serve up dinner on blue plates, dress in blue while you eat, and cover your table with a blue tablecloth. Conversely, avoid red, yellow, and orange in your dining areas. Studies find they encourage eating.

PLUS: 7 Unhealthy Diet Foods

4. Shoot your food
Rather than writing down every morsel, take a picture of it, and file the photos on your phone or computer by date. A visual account of your consumption may help you curb your intake. “Snapping photos and then looking back at them can make people stop and think before indulging,” nutritionist Joan Salge Blake says. It needn’t be a big production: your cell phone will do. Think about it: there you are at the salad bar, making a plate of vegetables. Don’t pat yourself on the back quite yet, though. A simple snapshot of your heaping dish may “show your extra helping of cheese or deep-fried croutons,” Joan cautions. A visual reminder might be just enough to give you pause next time before you ladle on the blue cheese dressing. — Joan is a spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association. Find other healthy eating tips in her book, Nutrition & You.

PLUS: 11 Packaged Food Words to Beware

5. Tie yourself up
You could try fitness guru Valerie Orsoni’s “Le Petit Secret”: “A number of French women wear a ribbon around their waist and underneath their clothes when they go out for dinner. It keeps them conscious of the tummy-particularly if the ribbon starts to feel tighter as the evening goes on!”

— Le Personal Coach: A French Trainer’s Simple Secrets to Staying Fit and Slim Without the Gym. Source:

Five Minute Fixes and Best You

9 “diet” foods that make you hungrier

(Photo: Getty Images)(Photo: Getty Images)

Put down that light yogurt, it may be making you fat. As it turns out, a number of foods that are commonly thought to be great for weight loss can actually stimulate the appetite. We spoke with Marjorie Nolan, R.D., National Spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association, to get the skinny on foods that can trigger hunger and sabotage your diet.

1. Light yogurt

The blast of sweet (often artificial) flavor causes the stomach to start producing gastric juices. With only four to six ounces of yogurt and no fat in a typical container, the body doesn’t have enough food to digest leaving the tummy rumbling for more.

Better choice: Nolan likes the creaminess and high protein content of plain, low-fat Greek yogurt. Add fruit and a sprinkle of cinnamon for flavor. If you choose the non-fat variety, add a tablespoon of sunflower seeds for crunch and satisfaction—the fat in nuts and seeds is slow to digest so a small serving keeps you feeling full.

Related: The new Nordic diet: The next big weight loss trend?

2. Puffed cereal with skim milk

The combo of skim milk and puffed cereal has too few calories to keep you energized for long. Many dieters reach for puffed cereal because it looks filling in a big bowl. However, the low fiber content leaves you wanting more soon after breakfast. Puffed cereal also has a high glycemic index, which causes blood sugar to drop after an initial boost of energy.

Better choice: Rolled or steel cut oats. Oatmeal is high in fiber, which makes it a satisfying breakfast. Add a spoonful of maple brown sugar if you need something sweet. Cooking your own plain oatmeal and adding a small amount of sweetener is much more nutritious than using pre-sweetened packets. Nolan likes to cook oats with low fat milk or stir in a tablespoon of peanut butter for even more stick-to-your-ribs goodness.

3. Big green salad with low fat or fat free dressing

The typical dieters’ lunch of a salad with low fat dressing can have a boomerang effect on the appetite. It’s full of fiber and visually filling but the low protein and fat content won’t satisfy for long. Stay away from fat-free dressings, which are loaded with sugar.

Better choice. Add three to six ounces of lean protein such as lean beef, chicken, or beans (the leaner the choice, the more you should eat) to your salad bowl.

4. Rice cakes

One rice cake=good, four rice cakes=overindulgence. And that’s about how many it will take to feel truly satisfied. Low in fiber with a high glycemic index, these classic diet snacks won’t leave your tank full for long.

Better choice: Spread a tablespoon of peanut butter or cream cheese onto a rice cake for a more balanced nosh. Or choose whole grain crackers with a spread or small portion of cheese for fiber and carbs plus protein.

5. Chewing gum

A little stick of gum is a stealth saboteur. While some chewing gum advocates say that it can stave off snacking, Nolan disagrees. She explains that the burst of flavor gets the gastric juices flowing. The act of chewing revs the digestive system even more, preparing it for a meal. If you want an express ticket to the all-you-can-eat buffet, chomp on some gum.

Better choice: We all have our munchy days, so if you are just looking for something to keep your mouth busy, air-popped corn or raw veggies are a safer bet.

6. Diet soda

Like gum, the sweet flavor wakes up the digestive process with no nutritional pay off which stimulates the appetite. Caffeine and carbonation may dampen your hunger pangs for a short time only to have them come roaring back along with an energy slump. If that’s not enough to make you rethink your daily fix, a study carried out by the University of Texas Health Center in San Antonio showed that people who consumed diet soda had a 70-500% increase of abdominal fat over ten years compared to those who didn’t drink diet soda.

Better choice: Drinking a hot beverage can slow down the appetite and allow you to think through your craving. Also, sometimes thirst signals are confused with hunger, so you may just need hydration. Non-caffeinated herbal teas won’t cause an energy crash.

7. Apple

Yes, apples are great for you—they contain lots of vitamins and fiber, but a single apple is not a balanced snack. If you don’t eat anything else with your afternoon apple, you may overeat at dinner.

Better choice: Apple with 5-10 almonds or a cheese stick. Spend a few more calories on your snack so you won’t be ravenous later

8. Low-calorie frozen entrees

Light frozen entrees contain little fiber and only about half the calories you will need to feel satiated. They are also loaded with salt. If you don’t have another option, look for a frozen dinner that contains 400-500 calories, 20-30 grams of protein, around 5 grams of fat, and 5-10 grams of fiber.

Better choice: If you are too busy to cook, Nolan suggests an “assembly based meal.” Roast chicken from the deli, a slice of whole grain bread, some salad bar vegetables, and a piece of fruit add up to a quick, healthy dinner.

9. Fat-free graham crackers or other baked goods

Nolan says people who are watching their weight tend to automatically reach for food labeled “fat free” on the package assuming it is more diet-friendly than the regular version. However, when manufacturers make fat-free foods, they often up the sugar content. Check the nutritional information on the back–the light versions sometimes contain more calories.

Better choice: Regular graham cracker. A small indulgence such as a graham cracker or square of quality chocolate keeps things interesting and won’t break the bank calorie-wise. Nolan points out that boredom is the enemy of dieters and causes people to fall of the wagon. “You are better off eating real food and more calories and feeling physically and emotionally satisfied than eating ‘diet food’ and being hungry in an hour.”