"Will I feel deprived if I change my diet and lifestyle?"
"Depends on the approach you take. I suggest you consider choosing an approach towards improving your health that does NOT make you feel this way. Know that making gradual and consistent lifestyle changes towards health does not mean you have to deprive yourself of anything. You can do this. Take it one step at a time and as you move further in the process it will become clear what will work for you with regard to balance." -Penny
"Why should I understand why I want to lose weight?"
"In my opinion, understanding our reason for wanting to lose weight is empowering. It raises our awareness, allowing us to look introspectively, helping us work towards improving our health from the INSIDE out, achieving sustainable results." -Penny
"Why am I having so much trouble losing weight?"
"I can relate personally to this question, and discovered my answer to be the approach I was taking. What finally made the difference for me was to work towards my health from the inside out. For so many years I tried to lose weight based on my outer appearance. By addressing the weight on the inside that was holding me back, the physical results followed. Keep things simple. It's not easy but really it can be simple. Take it one step at a time making small gradual changes that are sustainable. You know what to do. The question is, what is holding you back? When you have your answer, write it down on a piece of paper as a limiting belief. Release it, so it can no longer hold you back, and you are on your way!" -Penny
"Is interval training good for weight loss?"
"Yes! It's also great for lifting our confidence. By pushing ourselves to reach higher levels of intensity for short bursts of time, we realize we are capable of more than we think. I enjoy 20 minutes of High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT). When I was first starting my personal weight loss journey I did this by walking on a treadmill and lasted almost 10 minutes=). The key is to focus on "intensity". Here is one way: On a scale of 1-10, start with a 2 minute warm up at what ever feels like intensity 5 for you. It will be different for each of us based on our fitness level. Then increase your intensity each minute to a 6, a 7, an 8, and a 9. Then repeat the cycle back from 6-9. On your last minute give it all you have to hit your intensity "10" and cool down. Remember it is very important to focus on the right intensity based on your fitness level. If you are just starting out, you may do this by simply walking adjusting your pace. As your fitness level increases what it takes to stay at the intensity level you desire will change. This is a great workout that will not only burn lots of calories while you're doing it but all day long. Enjoy!" -Penny
"How can I lose weight successfully?"
"By identifying current unhealthy patterns and then making a conscious and deliberate decision to replace each, one by one, with healthy patterns that you will be able to sustain in the area of exercise, nutrition and mindset. Be clear on the reason you are working towards a healthier you and set realistic goals along the way. Focus on progress towards your goals and always remember you are making long-term lifestyle changes. The journey will not always be perfect and so don't be too hard on yourself along the way." -Penny
"Is increasing exercising enough to lose weight?"
"When our goal is to lose weight, increasing exercise while staying aware of our nutrition intake works. Sometimes increasing our exercise will also increase hunger and so it becomes that much more important to eat proper foods." -Penny
"How do I choose a fitness program?"
"Be clear on your current fitness level vs. your fitness goal. Consider short-term goals as well as long-term goal. The fitness program you choose should be one you can and will follow long enough to see results. As your fitness levels improve, you will most likely have new goals and so your fitness program after initial goals are achieved will change accordingly." –Penny
"Why should I plan to fail in a weight-loss plan?"
"A different way to think of this is to plan for bumps in the road. The journey of weight-loss is not easy. We will not always make good choices and work our good healthy plans. The reality is life happens and exercises get missed. We don't always eat the right foods or feel positive about the healthy changes we are making, even when we are making progress! There will be times we want to give up. Have a plan for when times get challenging to avoid allowing the old unhealthy patterns to sneak in." –Penny
"How can I change?"
"ACTION. It really is the only way. Change is an action driven process and so we have to do the work in order to make a change. It's not always easy and so as others have said, it helps to have a support system in place." -Penny
"What is the process for changing behavior?"
"Once we become aware of behaviors...patterns...habits which are unhealthy, we can begin to replace them one by one with positive, healthy ones. If our pattern is to spend 3 hours watching TV at night, we can replace some TV time with exercise and meal planning for the following day for example. If our current behavior is to reach for an unhealthy snack in the afternoon, we can replace that behavior with a cup of green tea as another example. I find having something to "replace" the behavior with is much more successful than simply saying "I'm going to try not to do that." -Penny
"What are the benefits of joining a gym?"
"The benefits of joining a gym depend on what an individual is looking to gain from the gym. Although there can be many general benefits, in my opinion, the most important thing we can benefit from is to join in on the journey towards improving our health, in or out of a gym environment." -Penny
"What's a practical way to avoid emotional eating?"
"Replace the unhealthy habit deliberately and consciously with a new healthy one. Stay aware of yourself and as you start to feel you are moving towards food for comfort, go to your replacement plan. Make yourself a cup of tea, change your environment by taking a walk, calling a friend, connecting with your support group online, starting a project or reading a good book. There will be times that you will have a plan and not work it. This is a reality. At this point, the important thing is to not be too hard on yourself as this brings us further down emotionally. Isolate the situation knowing that you can make a better next choice." -Penny
"What exercise program should I follow?"
"One that you enjoy, can have fun with and can sustain long enough to benefit from your results based on your specific exercise goals at any given point in the process." –Penny
"What should I do if I'm often not in the mood for exercise?"
"Consider the type of exercise you are doing. It is really important to enjoy how we choose to "move" (exercise) our bodies. We really need to do our best to find a way that is fun!! Once we have done that, we still have to address the question here, which is what to do when we don't feel like exercising. The answer for me personally and all I have had the privilege to work with always seems to be to just do it anyway. The initial getting started is usually the hardest part but once we are in it, considering the "fun" factor, we are golden." -Penny
"Why do I need to set weight loss goals?"
"Have you made a decision to "lose weight"? If so, chances are you are taking a good look at where you are and possibly recognizing your desire for change. That "change" you are working towards will be your goal. Setting small, attainable goals with timelines will help with motivation and confidence building as you acknowledge your progress against your goal along the way." -Penny
"How can I achieve success with my weight loss efforts?"
"By being consistent with your efforts -- the work you are putting in to reach your weight loss goals with regard to the two key components, nutrition and exercise." –Penny
"Why do I always fail in my weight loss efforts?"
"YOU are the only one that can truly answer this question. Consider taking an honest look at your past efforts to lose weight and acknowledge the patterns that have kept you from success. Once you get clear on this, decide to deliberately stay aware of these patterns and to not allow them to hold you back. Believe that you CAN replace past unhealthy patterns with new healthy ones. Know that your past failed attempts are no indication of what you are capable of and take it one day at time focusing on PROGRESS each day." -Penny
"Are machines or free weights better for weight loss?"
"If we are talking about weight lifting machines vs. free weights, I would say which ever you enjoy most! Try both or mix it up. Main thing is have fun as you work those muscles to build your better whole body...mind, heart and soul included =)" –Penny
"How can I maintain my weight?"
"By continuing to "practice" the new healthy habits we replaced our poor unhealthy habits with. As we work towards physical weight loss, I encourage everyone to choose a method that encourages self-awareness and learning. I'm not a fan of quick fix diets that don't allow us to learn about our existing health patterns and how we can improve them. Maintaining weight becomes much more difficult in these cases and most often result in our reaching a weight goal only to be left without the tools to maintain our new weight. We quickly fall back into old unhealthy patterns because we simply don't know what to do. Our confidence starts dropping as our weight starts increasing. I know this cycle well, personally. It's one that many can relate to. To break the cycle, we focus on making gradual, consistent, healthy changes in our lifestyle…learning what works, and what doesn't so we can do it for life." -Penny
"I hate exercising. What should I do?"
"When I hear this question, I like to ask, "What does exercise mean for you?" Our personal definition of what "exercise" looks like can act as a belief that limits us. For example: If for you, exercise means going to a gym and doing an hour of cardio which for you personally in not enjoyable, then change your definition and allow exercise to be something different. I like to think in simple terms of just "moving more" in an enjoyable way. This could mean pleasant walks with friends, parking further from our destinations, dancing to our favorite tunes...even around the house! When we think in terms of how we can simply move more in a way that is fun and enjoyable, our options become clear. Now, in some cases an individual may suffer from pain as a result of exercise and if that is the case, consult your doctor." -Penny