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Make it satisfying

Posted by communitymanager Dec 30, 2019

For many of us, physical activity is a chore we’d rather avoid at all costs. But it doesn’t have to be that way!  Finding fun, satisfying ways to incorporate activity into our daily lives is the key to long-term weight management success. Need inspiration? Check out the ideas below.


·         Keep it interesting by listening to your favorite music or podcasts while on the go – you can take them with you anywhere! If at home or the gym, put the treadmill on a favorite TV station.

·         Keep it social by finding a work-out buddy to walk, swim, or jog with you. Alternatively, connect with others or bring a friend to a regularly scheduled dance, boot camp, or yoga class.

·         Make it challenging by using a timer for exercise routines or laps. Other ideas include adding more reps or distance to workouts, and incorporating short bursts of different exercises such as lunges or push-ups into a walk or run. Track your progress using a fitness app!

·         Make it meaningful by getting active for a cause.  A 5k walk or run for a cause benefits you and others! Or keep a reminder of your motivation for exercising nearby and pull it out just before getting started – extra motivation goes a long way!

·         Make it fun. Focus on physical activities you enjoy, whether it’s dancing, martial arts, or yoga. Or bring out the kid in you by jumping rope, playing tag or Frisbee, or getting moving on the playground (think monkey bars and swing sets).  

No matter your interests or your lifestyle, getting active can be satisfying in and of itself. Try it and let your coach know what you learn!  



Creating the right environment for a healthy lifestyle is vital to your success. Check out our tips below for making healthy choices easy whether you’re at home, work, or out and about.


At home

  • Replace sugary or diet drinks with a pitcher of fruit-infused water or herbal tea. And keep a large glass on the kitchen counter always ready to fill.
  • Do a pantry make-over. Rid the house of all the chips, desserts, and other foods that may tempt you into an unplanned indulgence. If you are craving chocolate at 9 p.m. and don’t have it at home, chances are you won’t head out to get any. And keep fruit or veggie slices readily available instead.
  • Keep exercise equipment next to the TV. Watching TV is a perfect time to stretch, lift weights, or work on your core.  Place dumbbells,     exercise bands, and yoga mats in a handy location along with the routines written out so you don’t have to think about what to do next – you can just do it!
  • Place post-it notes around the house as reminders to take medicine or get active.  Then put others with motivational quotes and reminders of your “why” in other locations.
  • Lay out your exercise gear the night before so it’s sitting right there in     front of you the next day, a friendly reminder to get active.
  • Set the table for the next meal after eating. The more you eat at a table, the more you’ll appreciate each bite of food and notice sensations of fullness.


At work

  • Like  at home, keep healthy liquids handy. Carry a water bottle everywhere you go and refill it regularly. During cold weather, herbal tea is a great     alternative.
  • Schedule regular activity breaks. If you’re sitting all day, put “move sessions” on your calendar, whether they are walking meetings or walking breaks. If your job keeps you on your feet, schedule times for regular stretching or weight bearing exercises you can do in a chair.
  • Stay motivated with an inspiring screensaver, such as inspirational images or motivational quotes. Mix it up regularly for extra interest and meaning.
  • Donuts in the breakroom again?  Avoid tempting areas altogether if possible. Keep healthy snacks at your desk so you will have another option.
  • Pack a lunch. Mornings can be crazy so prep and pack your healthy foods the night before.  In the morning, you’ll have everything you need to keep your belt and your budget tight!


Out and about

  • Keep a healthy snack in your car or bag.  When you need some nutrition, you’ll have it handy instead of needing to stop for less healthy options.
  • Keep a gym bag with walking shoes and even workout clothes in your car. Having all your gear with you makes it that much easier to hit the gym or a park on the way home from work. Or even go for a short, impromptu walk!



1J. Perm, “Nutritional Updates for Physicians: Plant-based Diets,” The Permanente Journal, NIH, accessed September 2017,


It’s a pretty well-known fact that following through with New Year’s resolutions can be difficult. Losing weight and other health-related goals are frequently the most popular resolutions from year to year, but many individuals end up quitting after a few weeks or months.

Common pitfalls with resolutions

Sometimes, we’re not able to complete our resolutions because we make them too vague. For example, if you say, “I want to lose weight,” it will be more challenging to know whether you are successful without attaching a specific weight or timeframe.

We can also lose track of our progress if we make the goal too unrealistic and then we become quickly discouraged, or we don’t have a way to measure our progress along the way. If you want to ultimately achieve a big goal, it would be easier to track if you create milestones for the entire journey. For example: “I want to lose 20 pounds by the end of the year, so I should try to lose 5 pounds within 3 months’ time.”

You can see why the most important step to ensuring success is the first one: creating the goal itself. Using the “SMART” system of goal setting is one way to focus and plan what you want to achieve.

What is SMART?

What does SMART stand for? SMART goals typically have these five following characteristics:

Specific: Avoid making your goal too general or vague.

Measurable: Set it up so that you’ll know whether or not you’re making progress.

Achievable: Create a goal that you can actually attain.

Relevant: The goal should be related to your values and other goals in life. That way, the goal would be more meaningful to you, and you will feel more motivated.

Time bound: Set a timeframe around your goal, to better measure your progress and evaluate your level of success.

By making sure your goal is SMART, you will be thinking through the what, when, where, how, and why behind your objective. In other words, you’ll be more strategic and prepared to meet your goals – whether they’re tied to New Year’s resolutions or not!

Whatever your goals may be, whether they’re related to health, finances, career, personal growth, etc., make sure that they’re SMART.




Resilience is your ability to adapt to adversity or unexpected changes that occur in your life. Contrary to what many believe, resilience is not an inborn personality trait that some people naturally have and others lack. It’s a learned skill. And that’s good news because being resilient is one of the best ways to protect against the effects of stress. 

Since we can’t completely avoid stress, the goal of effective stress management is two-fold: exercise good decision-making over the things you can control in order to minimize self-imposed stress, while being resilient toward the stressors you can’t control, such as sickness, accidents, and losses.


Here are three ways you can begin to build resilience to the stressful life events you might encounter. 


Seek out supportive relationships

One of best ways to adapt to life’s challenges is to build and maintain positive and loving relationships. It’s hard to overstate the importance of this type of support. When you’re feeling stressed, discouraged, or overwhelmed, turning to trusted people in your life can give you a renewed sense of strength and cut through any distorted thoughts you might have about your situation. 


Practice good self-care

Your ability to be resilient under stress requires you to have emotional and physical reserves to draw upon. One of the most important ways to build these reserves is by practicing good self-care. Start by getting an adequate amount of sleep, eating nutritious food, making time for recreation and investing energy into people and activities that are in line with your values. 


Be proactive

You strengthen your resiliency when you are proactive but you weaken it when you become passive and reactionary. When you set goals for the future it helps propel you toward more action. It may take some time to recover from a setback or loss, but your situation will improve if you continue to deliberately work at it.  
Even though no one likes the fact that hardship, trauma, sorrow, and pain are part of our lives, the question isn’t whether we will experience adversity but how we will manage it. If you learn to bend, become flexible and adapt to the new challenges that emerge, you know that you have learned resilience.





Gary Gilles, Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor


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Support yourself!

Posted by communitymanager Dec 3, 2019

Everyone appreciates being recognized for his or her accomplishments.  Why not recognize and celebrate your own?  Acknowledging achievements, even in a small way, increases positive emotions, self-esteem, and confidence.  And more positivity and self-confidence help you reach your health goals.


Try it out! Pick one thing you’ve accomplished in the past week, no matter how small.  Maybe you took a walk during your lunch break, chose a side salad instead of fries, or made sure to get eight hours of sleep last night. Then try one of the strategies below to celebrate your success.


  • Appreciate the choice. Think about what it took to make that positive choice. Which of your strengths did you use to make it happen?  Was it hard or easy to make? Either way, it was an achievement for you to celebrate! 
  • Savor it.  How are you feeling about your accomplishment – pride, joy, satisfaction?  Close your eyes and savor your emotions.  Appreciate how good it feels.  Take time to really enjoy these positive feelings that come from success. Journaling about it can help enhance the good feelings.  


  • Reward yourself. Decide how you will pat yourself on the back for what you accomplished. Offer yourself kind words, share your success with friends, or reward yourself with a favorite activity.