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For the past 10 years, I’ve had a garden.  I usually do raised beds with tomatoes, peppers, carrots, and other vegetables.  I also do some herbs and spices…along with chamomile.

Why do I garden?

It’s certainly not because I’m awesome at it!  In fact, last year, I lost my entire tomato crop to some sort of fungus, which is making me wonder if I want to plant again as the risk of the same fungus affecting this year’s plants is pretty high.

It’s certainly not because it feeds my family – because, truth be told, I’m pretty much the only one who eats the stuff.  My daughter will eat tomatoes and my son love garden carrots.  But I’m the only one who likes the rest of it.

It’s certainly not because I have an abundance of time on my hands during the summer months and I just have to come up with a way to spend it.  Ha!  I wish!

It’s certainly not because it saves me money.  By the time I buy the plants and have my tomato plants attacked by fungus, have my zucchini plants attached by squash bugs…the yield is pretty low overall.  No money saved, really.

I’m in love with the process

I garden because I love the process of gardening.  I love watching things change and grow.  And….at the end of a very long, hot summer I get to have the fruits of my labor on my dinner table.

Cucumber vines attaching themselves to the supports. Nature is so cool!

I garden because it’s something my husband and I do together.  He eats nearly nothing from the garden!  Yet, he’s right beside me picking weeds and making sure we get the tomatoes out of there before it’s too late.  He also reports the first sign of critters, or anything else, that may be attacking my beloved plants.

I garden because my children are watching….they learn where real food comes from and how to grow and harvest it.

What has gardening taught me?

Gardening has taught me PATIENCE for what is possible if enough care and planning is put into something.

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It’s taught me that it takes a long time, and a lot of work, for the final result to be worthy.

I’ve learned there is always next year….if a fungus attacks my tomato plants.  And, that I may need to do some research to find out how to prevent, or deal with, it if it happens again.  (Fingers crossed it doesn’t!!)

I can pretty much count on the fact that I’m going to be quite sick of the garden by mid July.  That the sweaty, sticky mess I become in the back yard most evenings will become something I dread but find oddly satisfying.

Why am I telling you any of this??

Because, like gardening, the weight loss journey is one of love/hate.

There will be times you are motivated and nothing can stop you.  But, there will also be times when a fungus attacks your tomato plants and you have to pull the entire crop.  There will be others who won’t eat vegetables from your garden and you must tend to it by yourself….drawing support from the simple fact that you are doing something great for yourself.

You will put in weeks to months of work for very slow, if any, yield.  Watching the plants slowly sprout and grow daily over the summer months, you’ll wonder what kind of success you’ll have when they start to produce.

There will most certainly be times when you must drag yourself off the couch to go pick weeds, or do some watering.  But, you make yourself…knowing that the end result will be worth it.

Finally, there will be times when you are ready to till it all under and just be done with it.  The effort it takes to maintain, even WHEN producing great fruits and vegetables, can become overwhelming and you just want it to be OVER.  Yet….you persist until the end of the season.

In the end…

In the end, the most important thing to know about gardening is how long it takes to get the results you want.  For example, even if you plant tulip bulbs, you will wait an entire YEAR to see those tulips bloom year after year.  For whatever reason, you are patient and understand the process.

If you grow a vegetable garden, you will wait months for most of your vegetables to produce something that you can actually eat.  Yet, you forge on – you put in the time preparing the soil, watering, weeding, pruning, etc.  You UNDERSTAND there’s a process involved to get the RESULT you want.

If you garden, you KNOW the fruit (the thing you want the most) comes at the END of the work.  You also know that to keep GETTING that fruit, you must continue to take care of that plant.  You don’t just pick tomatoes once and call it done.  Day after day, you do what it takes for that plant to keep producing for you.  You are A-OK putting in the time and effort to get the results what you want….knowing they are NOT immediate….but come after weeks to months.

By this time…..

It’s probably obvious what I’m trying to do here.

Everywhere I look, I try to see parallels between what we do in life and the weight loss journey.  What lessons can we learn?  What skills that we already KNOW, or already DO, can be applied to our efforts to lose weight?

Friends, this is what I try to do – show you that weight loss doesn’t have to be anything that starts from scratch.

I guarantee we all have things within our lives, like gardening, that require many of the exact same skills it takes to be successful at weight loss.  And, remember, that has nothing to do with “you didn’t tell me what to eat.”

It has to do with routines…habits…mindset!

It’s all about how you LOOK at the task at hand.

If you’re ready….

If you’re ready to learn more about what skills you already have that can help you with your weight loss journey – book a call with me.  If I can’t help you, I’ll try my best to point you in the right direction.




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Weight loss

If you’re preparing your weight loss journey, you’re likely aware of the fact that there’s more to losing weight than adopting a low calorie diet. Reaching a healthy weight takes determination, commitment, and a willingness to break your old routines and habits. And let’s face it, since we’re all creatures of habit, shifting your routines can be the most difficult hurdle to jump.

Before shedding the pounds, you have to be willing to shed the bad habits that could be holding you back from reaching your goals. Every decision you make regarding food, exercise, and events, becomes a factor in your weight loss journey. Though it may seem overwhelming, there are little things you can do on the daily that will ensure your weight loss success.

1. Stop going through the drive thru every single day

Whether you’re accustomed to stopping at Starbucks every morning for your venti latte or Burger King for an afternoon snack, these pit-stops are keeping you back from reaching your desired weight loss goal.

However, because most foods are fine in moderation, there’s no reason you can’t stop for your favorite pick-me-up sometimes. Treat yourself, but don’t make it an everyday habit.

2. Eating junk food out of boredom

It’s super easy to sit down with a bag of potato chips and binge on Netflix. The problem is that before you know it, you’re six episodes into Friends and nearly three-fourths of the chips are gone.

If you’re prone to snacking during a movie or show, be sure to keep healthy low calorie snacks in the house. Crunching on low calorie popcorn, baby carrots, or celery is a great way to satisfy your need to munch and these treats won’t blow your diet.

3. Emotional eating

Eating during a stressful time can be a difficult habit to break. If you’ve just broken up with your significant other, it can be extremely tempting to turn to our favorite comfort food. Instead of picking up a pint of ice cream or a bag of leftover holiday chocolate, try to do something else to deal with your feelings.

If you’ve had a bad day at work and are tempted to eat your way through your anger, hit the gym instead. Taking your frustration out on the weights or indoor track will help direct your energy as well as maintain your diet goals. Plus you’ll feel so much better afterward!

4. Sitting on the couch for hours on end

While it’s super tempting to be a couch potato, especially during the colder months, it does absolutely nothing for your physical and mental wellbeing. Whenever you’re tempted to park it on the sofa, take the dog for an extended walk instead or call a friend and meet up for a cup of coffee. At the end of the day, you’ll feel better about using the time in a more productive way and you’re body will thank you for it.

This, and other essential information to help you on the road to weight loss success can be found in my new ebook!

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Weight Loss

When it comes to losing weight, it’s easy to get caught up in the large end goal. We say things to ourselves like, “I really need to lose 100 pounds” or “I want to be a size 12.” We also talk ourselves into burning a certain amount of calories at the gym.
So often weight loss becomes a numbers game that we forget the small victories that lead the way to the end game. If you have a substantial amount of weight loss in mind, rest assured that you can start shifting your thinking today. With the tips we’ve put together, you’ll be on your way to the body you’ve always wanted, inside and out.

Start enjoying your meals

Many of us pride ourselves in the ability to chow down a piece of pizza in less than two minutes. What exactly is the problem with eating like this? Once you’ve downed your first slice, you’ll eat a second or third as well as a shake, and cinnamon sticks before you realized your stomach is full.

A recent study conducted by researchers at the University of Rhode Island examined the relationship between how fast one eats and the amount of food consumed. Overall, fast eaters consumed 55% more food per minute compared to their slower counterparts.

By eating more slowly, you’ll tune into how your body tells you it’s full. Take the time to enjoy the way your food looks, smells, and tastes. Instead of consuming your steak in less than three minutes, try to stretch it to ten or more. This way your stomach has time to adjust to the food instead of being crammed full in a manner of minutes. Another great tip is to put your utensils down between bites.

Follow the principle of hara haci bu

The Japanese have a principle known as hara hachi bu that translates as “belly 80 percent full” in English. This way of eating is practiced by the residents of Okinawa, Japan. In reality, whenever you eat it takes about 20 minutes for your stomach’s stretch receptors to tell the body how full it really is. Stopping at about 80 percent capacity is a great technique to avoid excessive caloric intake as well as obesity. By following this concept coupled with eating more slowly, you will lose the weight in a healthy manner and keep it off.

Plan your meal ahead of time

Are you a planner? If so, now is the time to start applying this skill to your meals. Studies have shown that spontaneous snacks such as a donut from the break room or a bag of chips fro the vending machine add up quickly. Chances are if you grab something from the vending machine near the drinking fountain, you’ll forget about it later after you’ve already consumed it, therefore you’ve consumed extra and unnecessary calories.

Though it might seem annoying at first, planning your meals ahead of time will assist your weight loss in the long run. It also allows you the chance to put more thought into your choices. It’s a lot easier to pick up a frozen pizza at the supermarket, but taking the time to visualize a balanced meal will guarantee you a slimmer and healthier future.

 

Get this, plus more valuable information, in my new ebook – THE book that prepares you for your next diet.  Weight loss starts with your MIND…not with your BEHIND.  Mindset is ESSENTIAL for success. My book will get your head straight so your next weight loss program can be your LAST weight loss program!

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Is Exercise a Part of Your New Year’s Resolution?

January is filled with the best of intentions when it comes to fitness and health. Unfortunately, most don’t last longer than 3-4 weeks. (Insert sad face here.) When it comes to beginning an exercise routine, there are several things you need to know for your new commitment to be successful. The biggest thing you need to know is why some folks gain weight with exercise (and, no, I don’t mean putting on muscle), as this is one of the common reasons they quit exercising.

Trauma Alert!!

When you go from being somewhat sedentary to being active – particularly intense activity such as lifting, running, etc – your body will be saying “WHAT THE HECK?!?” It may be in a bit of shock. You’ve just taken it from it’s nice comfy place and introduced it to an entirely different activity and routine. You may be sore, built up a bit of lactic acid, and may even feel swollen and stiff. Think about it… you put your poor, untrained muscles through something traumatic. What happens when any part of your body experiences trauma?

When the body undergoes injury, even micro-tears in the muscle as a result of completely appropriate exercise, it will send fluid to the area to begin repairing the damage. This may sound like you are doing something harmful, but you aren’t! It’s an entirely appropriate response! It’s no different than when you sprain your ankle and it swells because of fluid and inflammation. Your muscles can undergo the same process – the fluid and inflammation bring needed chemicals to the area to begin to repair your muscles and prepare them for your next workout.

This fluid comes from the body holding on to excess water as a response to the new activity. This will contribute to extra pounds on the scale. It’s NOT FAT!

Your Body Wants to Make Exercise Easier!

Your body is impressively adaptive. Now that you are working out, your body will take steps to prepare you for your next workout. This happens independent of the process described above – where your body attempts to repair any micro-damage done by hard workouts.

Your body has the ability to be ready for activity by storing sugar inside the muscles so you have immediate energy for your workouts. It says “okay, I’m gonna be ready next time!” and stores glycogen (the storage form of glucose/sugar) within the muscle.

THIS is when people quit their routine because they weigh themselves after a week and expect the scale to be down. On the contrary! The scale may be up several pounds! Your brain says “this obviously isn’t working!”, so you stop exercising and those pounds go away. I can’t even count how many times I’ve heard people say “I gained weight when I started exercising, but lost it all when I stopped.” We know exercise is good for us – so this doesn’t make sense….but, yet – it happens just this way! WHY??

Glycogen Storage – Your Body’s Gift to You

In an effort to be ready for the next workout, your body will store glycogen (stored form of sugar) in the body as mentioned above. This is great! This enables you to start your workout fairly intensely – as your muscles have an immediate fuel source RIGHT THERE! (Of course, after appropriate warm-up and stretching.) However, glycogen doesn’t last forever. It’s purpose is for immediate usage, not long-term usage. It’s used up rather quickly, actually. Your body then turns to fat to fuel the rest of your workout. Your body works harder to use fat as a fuel source…glycogen is EASY to use! Thus, our bodies WANT to store glycogen for us!

When the body knows you are really going to stick with this exercise routine, it will store more glycogen in your muscles. Here’s the kicker….. To store ONE molecule of glycogen, the body has to store approximately 3 grams of water! Yes! That means you will retain fluid to store this precious glycogen! This will lead to a heavier weight on the scale. This is also dependent on what muscles have been worked! What will store more glycogen?…. your glutes or your forearms? So, yeah – when you work those big muscles (glutes, back, hamstrings, quads) – there’s a lot of potential for glycogen (and thus water) storage! This will reflect on the scale, but it isn’t true weight gain!

Losing Weight When You Stop Exercising

This explains why you lose that weight when you STOP exercising. It’s not true weight loss. It’s simply ‘pound loss’ – you see the number on the scale drop, but you’ve lost absolutely no fat. When you stop exercising, your body does’t need to store that glycogen. So, all that water you retained as a part of this wonderful, natural process begins to leave your body. This results in a lower number on the scale. That’s it.

So, What’s The Answer?

The answer is to just stick with it. Tune into your logical, rational brain and KNOW you are doing what is right for your body. Know that this is what is supposed to be happening! Drink lots of water (counterintuitive, I know…but it’s a must!) and wait for the scale to begin to show your true weight loss. Or, don’t get on the scale at all and just wait for your clothes to fit differently, or for others to compliment you on your new physique. Or, simply focus on your performance. Are you getting stronger? Faster?

So, You Must Have Numbers?

One way to truly measure if your efforts are working is to have your body composition tested before and during exercise. Before starting a routine – get a baseline body composition test. Then, about every 4-5 weeks. This tells you so much more than the scale ever could! I have patients who have been working with me for months and have only lost ONE pound according to the scale. However, their body comp shows a muscle gain of 11 lbs and a fat loss of 12 lbs. There’s your ONE pound net loss, but obviously things have changed!

My office uses an InBody to check body composition. There are other brands out there – simply google your area and “body composition” to see if there’s a way to do this. Personal trainers also can do this via skin-fold methods and measurements. The scale isn’t the only number that you should be looking at!

In Conclusion

You know exercising is good for you – stick with it despite what happens with the scale! This weight gain is protective, normal, and adaptive! It means your body is doing what it’s supposed to be doing. Have faith in your body and it’s ability to look out for you.

-Dr. Hodges

This, as well as other essential information for weight loss, can be found in my new ebook!  This new ebook prepares you for your next weight loss program – to make it your LAST weight loss program!  Weight loss starts with your MIND….not with your BEHIND.  Get your mindset right and your chances of weight loss success SKYROCKET!

Subscribe to email list to receive valuable info and announcements

exceptional weight

We’ve all been there – the uncomfortable one at the party or family gathering.  Having obesity can make it even more unpleasant.

Whether it’s judgmental looks from across the room or grandma’s comments about the “baby fat” you’ve never lost, weight is a personal subject.

If you’ve been struggling to lose weight, you’re not alone.
According to Gallup.com, 52% of Americans want to lose weight.

While weight loss is an individualized concern, the ways obesity impacts one’s lifestyle are fairly universal. To shed light on this, take a look at some of the ways being obese can impact you and your loved ones.

Higher risks of health complications

In addition to societal effects, obesity can impact your daily life. Throughout the years, obesity has been known to pose higher risks of several health conditions such as sleep apnea, joint pain, diabetes, and cancer.

If you’re feeling pressure in your back and joints by the end of the day, it could be time to finally lose the excess weight. Otherwise, you run the risk of damaging your joints over time.  It may not seem like a big deal while we are young, but as we age…..mobility and independence will be a BIG deal.

In both sexes, the chances of cancer increases with excess pounds. For women, this can include breast, colon, and uterine cancer. For men, the risk of prostate and colon cancer increases. If any of these cancers are prevalent in your family, the odds increase even more.

Getting pregnant becomes more difficult

Obesity also has been linked to fertility complications, which may explain why you and your spouse haven’t been able to conceive yet.

In women, obesity can cause hormonal imbalances, which impacts ovulation. Inversely, being underweight can affect fertility, so falling within the “average” weight for your height and age is greatly important.

In the end, everyone’s different, and obese couples may have very little issues having a baby, but it may be something to look at if you’ve been struggling to conceive.

You deal with social stigmas

We all know that most Americans place a value on being thin. If you believe that you’ll be great at your job once you’re thin, or you’ll finally find the right partner once you’ve lost the weight, you’re not the only one.

You could be on a flight and find the person next to you acting like you’re a burden no matter how courteous you try to be. The young kid at the theme park who tries to fasten your seat belt could look at you like you’ve done something offensive.

Is it fair? No. But the good thing is that you can do something about it without having to feel like you need to take society head-on. It starts with admitting that you’re finally ready, then comes finding the right, healthy diet and exercise routine to follow.

Having obesity impacts your psyche

Every day we see images of happy thin people, which programs us into believing that being thin is the only way we can be happy. Though the tides are changing thanks to some of today’s top plus size models, it’s still important to consider your own mental status.

In addition to overall mental fatigue, those with obesity are about 25% more likely to have depression. With this follows self-confidence and self-image issues that are damaging to one’s mental health.

While it’s possible to be happy and overweight, that doesn’t mean health consequences aren’t down the road.  Talk to your physician about what you can do to lose excess weight and be the healthiest you can be!

 

This, as well as other essential information for weight loss, can be found in my new ebook!  This new ebook prepares you for your next weight loss program – to make it your LAST weight loss program!  Weight loss starts with your MIND….not with your BEHIND.  Get your mindset right and your chances of weight loss success SKYROCKET!

Subscribe to email list to receive valuable info and announcements