Is Your Weight Loss Plan Sustainable?

It’s a never ending cycle.

You start to feel a bit chubby and unhappy with what you see in the mirror. So you throw away all of the junk food in your kitchen and head to the supermarket and buy nothing but lettuce and lean chicken breast.

Diet ScaleYou strictly deny yourself all donuts and forgo your morning late for green tea instead. You buy a gym membership and brand new yoga pants and start sweating it out on the treadmill every single day.

Flash forward to one month later. You are again sitting on the couch in your sweatpants after a hard day at work, eating an entire pizza to yourself and guzzling from a two liter bottle of Coca Cola.

What happened?

If you are prone to going 100% into a fitness routine, and then burning out and resorting to your old unhealthy habits after a short while, it’s time to ask yourself if your weight loss plan is sustainable.

For a change in your fitness to be sustainable, you need to be able to continue it for a long period of time so that it becomes a long term, ongoing habit in your life.

For example, when you strictly limit yourself to 1,200 calories per day and lose 5 pounds in one week to fit into your favorite jeans for a hot date you might have achieved the results that you wanted but this method of weight loss is not sustainable.

If you are starving yourself, you are going to eventually crack and start eating again and all of the weight will pile back on again.

The only way to lose pounds for good is to make changes to your habits which will last for the longer term.

These changes should be:

Achievable: It’s admirable to try to hit the gym twice every day, but you also have a lot of other things to do in your day. Start with every second day instead and your goal will be much more easily achieved, which will help you not give up as easily.

Balanced: Strictly limiting yourself to certain foods will not last long, and this type of withdrawal sets you up to crave a huge junk food binge. You’re not going to give up on ever having another piece of chocolate cake for the rest of your life, are you?  It doesn’t have to be all or nothing! Allow yourself dessert a couple evenings per week, and a cheat meal on the weekends so that it is easier to stick to your routine. You will crave your guilty pleasures less if you indulge in them every now and then.

Healthy: Eating nothing but salads for a week will make you drop pounds quick, but if you continue that diet for the long term you will become very malnourished. You need protein, carbohydrates, vitamins, and even a small amount of healthy fat. Don’t starve your body; treat it right by giving it the healthy meals it needs to survive.

Once you make permanent changes to your routines which are sustainable, you will be able to stick to them for the long term and see fantastic results!

Who Needs a Little Dose of Humility?

You know you are intelligent, gorgeous, talented, hilarious and generally amazing. However, if you go around reminding everyone who you interact with how fantastic you are, you run the risk of sounding conceited and vain.

Being a bit too proud can really be irritating, and it can cause people to respond in a negative way to you. In the contrary, if you can conduct your behavior with a little bit of humility you will become a lot more likeable and find getting along with others much easier.

Pride is boasting about your skills and achievements, and humility is the art of gracefully letting your amazing qualities speak for themselves. Here are some tips for being more humble in your day to day life which still having good self esteem:

  • Admit when you are wrong. Accept that you are not perfect at everything and know where you are weak. Apologize when you have made a mistake.
  • When in conversation with another person, be aware when you have been talking about yourself for too long and switch the attention to them by asking them a question.
  • Don’t compare yourself to others. There will always be someone doing worse than you, but also there will always be someone doing better.
  • Appreciate the talents and qualities of others, and tell them honestly and sincerely how great they are.
  • Take compliments with a simple thank you and a smile. Give a compliment back to the receiver.
  • Don’t put yourself down in order to fish for compliments.
  • Put yourself in a situation where you are the student and someone else is the teacher, and be ready to learn something new.
  • When you are in an argument, refrain from calling others “stupid” or “uneducated” because they don’t agree with your political views, philosophy, or ideals. Bite your tongue and instead listen to them explain why they feel that way. You can still question their logic, but try not to attack them personally.

You might be the most amazing person in the world, but no one will want to interact with you until you have learned the very important lesson of being humble.

Want to know more?  Here are 14 Steps to Humility and Grace


So What Really Happened On Leap Year?

Leap YearSo 2012 is a leap year with 366 days instead of the normal 365.  But do you know why?

The ancient Egyptians figured out that the solar year and the man-made calendar year didn’t match up perfectly. 

It’s all caused by the time that it takes the Earth to revolve around the sun – 365 days, 5 hours, 48 minutes and 46 seconds to be exact. (Ever wonder who was manning the stopwatch for that one?) 

Therefore, the extra hours and change have to be carried over and every 4 years an extra day was added to the calendar to keep it all even.  Interestingly, there are a number of other intricate rules that they use in the calculation.

So What Has Happened on Leap Years Past?

Well, quite a few interesting things, actually:

1288 – Scotland’s Queen Margaret declared that a woman had the right to pop the question to any man she wished and if rebuffed, the man would be forced to pay a fine to the fair lady.

1504 – Christopher Columbus uses his knowledge of a lunar eclipse that night to convince Native Americans to provide him with supplies.

1704 – Queen Anne’s War: French forces and Native Americans stage a raid on Deerfield, Massachusetts, killing 56 villagers and taking more than 100 captive.

1916 – Child labor: In South Carolina, the minimum working age for factory, mill, and mine workers is raised from twelve to fourteen years old.

1944 – World War II: The Admiralty Islands are invaded in Operation Brewer led by American General Douglas MacArthur.

1972 – Hank Aaron becomes the first player in the history of Major League Baseball to sign a $200,000 contract.

1992 – Mr. Big hit it big this day, moving to #1 with, “To Be with You”. It would be the biggest hit in the U.S. for three big weeks.

Now isn’t it refreshing to know all of those things happened on leap year in the past?

What important news will happen today?  Feel free to make a prediction or share an event!





Did You See This Granny Dance?

90 Year Old Grandma’s Dance Tribute to Whitney Houston Goes Viral

A YouTube video which features a frail 90 year old woman busting a move to “I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me)” has gone viral, reaching over 800,000 views since Feb 12th. The video is a tribute to singer Whitney Houston who recently passed away.

Houston, a legendary pop diva, was found dead in her Beverly Hills hotel room on Feb 11th of unknown causes. She was one of the best-selling music artists in the world, and has sold over 170 million albums to date.

The song in the following video was one of her biggest hit singles, reading number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart when it was released and winning her a Grammy in 1988 for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance.

The death of the famous singer was a huge shock to the music world. Although the official autopsy report of what exactly caused her death has not been released, the police found bottles of prescription drugs in her hotel room.

Her death has spurred many to comment that the problem of drug addictions among celebrities needs to be addressed.

Drug overdose controversy aside, Adam Forgie filmed the heartwarming video of his grandmother dancing to the song in Houston’s memory and it has received an overwhelmingly enthusiastic response.

Although she suffers from severe macular degeneration, is legally blind, and has had a steel hip replacement, Forgie’s granny still finds great pleasure in dancing.

The video has been flooded with comments from astonished viewers who could not believe how much energy the dancing senior citizen had.

When I watch the video I can’t help but smile and hope that I still have that much zest for life when I have reached that impressive age.

Although Whitney Houston is no more, it seems that her music will still continue to make people of all ages want to get up and dance for a long time to come.

What to Do on a Long Bus Ride?

Perhaps you have a long commute on the bus, train or subway to where you work, or maybe you are planning a long journey to visit friends or family. Whatever the reason, there are times in your life where you will be stuck in transit and bored for a while.

Rather than sitting there staring out the window or trying to avoid eye contact with strangers, there are many things that you can do with your time.

Some people love taking the bus to work and to the university, because it is a time for to be relaxed and contemplative.

The journey forces one to take time for themselves to read, write, and ponder.

Here are a few ideas of what to do on your long commute to make the most of the trip:

  • Enjoy a good book. You keep saying that you never get any time to read anymore, so hit the library and consume an exciting novel a little bit every day while on your way to and from work. Just don’t get so involved in the story that you miss your stop!
  • Learn something new. Listen to a language learning program, study a textbook, or read an educational book. Why not use your commute to expand your mind?
  • Organize your day. Keep a small day planner or notebook with you and use that half hour in transit every morning to plan out what you will do that day. This helps you to mentally picture how your day will roll out and how you can complete your tasks more efficiently.
  • Brainstorm. Your notebook can also be a place where you come up with ideas and solutions to problems in your life. Trying to decide what to do about a new project or goal? Use your down time on the bus to come up with as many ideas and possibilities as you can.
  • Bliss out. Another great thing to do while you are in transit is to create an ideal environment for yourself and take a few moments to completely relax. Put your favorite song on your headphones, savor a snack or a cup of coffee, and simply enjoy watching the world go by.

When you are stuck in transit for a long time, it doesn’t have to be a terrible ordeal. With these tips, you can use your bus, train or subway time wisely and maybe even make it one of the highlights of your day!

Feel the Burn: How to Get the Most from Your Workout

Body Builder Weight LiftingSo you have signed up for a gym membership, bought yourself some new running shoes, and you are ready to get in shape.

Here are some tips that will help you get the most out of each visit to the gym and will have you seeing results much quicker:

Fuel Up

Your body is like an engine, it needs fuel in order to perform to full capacity. If you do to the gym on an empty stomach you will become tired and hungry quicker and you will not be able to push yourself to your full potential.

Before going to the gym, you should eat a small meal with workout-friendly foods such as whole grains, fruit, and protein.

Drink Water

Keeping hydrated is essential during your workout, because your muscles need water to perform and you will be losing lots of fluid through your sweat.

Drink a big glass of water an hour or so before you head to the gym, and then bring a water bottle which you can sip from as you are working out.

Then when you return home, drink another big glass to replenish the fluids you have lost.

Build Your Muscles

As you get stronger, you need to slowly increase the intensity of your weight training routine so that you can build up your major muscle groups.

The more you develop your muscles, the more calories your body will burn even when you are at rest. You will also be able to do more cardio and won’t tire as quickly.

When you are doing weight training, you should start with a weight that you can only lift 8-12 times before you can’t lift it any more.

If you can’t do 8 reps, it’s too heavy for you and if you can do more than 12 it’s too light. As you get stronger, slowly increase the amount of weight.

Go Hard or Go Home

No one ever lost any weight by sitting on a stationary bicycle and pedaling slowly while reading fitness magazines. For your gym visits to be worth your time, you need to put more effort into your fitness routine.

Rather than doing longer periods of less intense exercise, you are better off spending less time at the gym but really pushing yourself while you are there.

Challenge yourself to higher levels of resistance on the elliptical, stair climber or rowing machine. If you swim, try to beat your own time for how many laps you can swim in 15 minutes.

The more you push yourself, the more you will burn.

Good luck, and enjoy your workouts!

Desk Makeover: Create the Optimum Working Environment

messy deskHas your desk become a cluttered ruin filled with half-empty coffee mugs, teetering stacks of books, dusty piles of paper, and crumbs from your breakfast bagel?

Does your working environment make you feel refreshed, energized, and inspired or do you feel cramped, tired and overwhelmed?

Did you know that by changing the features of your working environment you can actually help yourself focus better, work more efficiently, and be more creative?

Whether you work at home or at an office, there are many ways that you can improve your desk space so that you can work to your maximum potential.

Reduce Clutter

Having a lot of junk on your desk is not only distracting when you are trying to work, but it can also make you feel overwhelmed and stressed out.

Just like staring out at the open ocean or the horizon can be calming for your mind, working at a clutter-free space will help you relax.

You will also find important documents and files quicker and easier rather than having to sift through piles of debris for them.

Here is a quick list to get started:

  1. Clear off everything from your desk and sort it into piles of things to thrown away and things to file.
  2. Create a filing system to organize your documents, which can be anything from folders in a drawer to a special cabinet.
  3. Make sure that everything is off the desk and put in its rightful place, and get in the habit of taking 10 minutes at the end of your day to organize your desk so that the clutter never builds up.

Light Up Your Life

Inadequate lighting in your work space could be sapping your energy, straining your eyes, and making it more difficult to get your work done.

Invest in a desk lamp which sheds light directly onto whatever you are working on so that you can see everything clearly.

Avoid florescent bulbs, because when they flicker they can cause eye strain after a while.

Inspire Yourself

Now that your desk is organized and bright, you can add a few items which will inspire you while you are working.

You can put quotes from your heroes and photos and artwork that represent your dreams and goals on the walls near your desk.

If you ever are stuck for ideas, you will have your own little gallery of inspiration to gaze upon.

Enjoy working in your new and beautiful workspace!

How to Deal With Coworkers Who Drive You Crazy

Every office has at least one; the person who makes you want to curl up under your desk and cry, or beat them senseless with a stapler.annoying coworker

You can’t choose your co-workers, and sometimes it can be incredibly frustrating to work in an environment with someone like this.

When they don’t deliver work when promised, refuse to collaborate, and fail to listen to feedback they make your job difficult and increase the stress level for everyone else.

So what can you do with that co-worker who drives you crazy? Here are a few strategies who dealing with these difficult workmates:

  • Keep your cool. Although you might want to send them an email jam-packed with obscenities on a particularly stressful morning, use self restraint. Losing your temper and lashing out at the person will not help the situation at all. You will have more power in this situation if you deal with it in a calm and controlled manner.
  • Consider their intentions. Perhaps this person is not being rude or difficult or purpose, they might just not realize the impact their actions are having on others. Or they might be acting up for a completely different reason. Try to get to know them and find out the motivations behind the way that they are acting.
  • Consult others about the problem. Have a confidential conversation with another co-worker that you trust. Ask them for support and advice on how you should deal with the situation. They might also have their own experiences with the person that they could share with you.
  • Approach the person first. No one likes being “tattled on” to a higher authority, so running to the boss when someone does something that upsets you should not be your first solution. Speak with your colleague in a calm and respectful manner, and tell them exactly what they have done and why you don’t appreciate it. If they are reasonable, or if they didn’t mean any harm, they will apologize and try to resolve the situation.
  • However, if you have approached them in this way and they have responded rudely, ignored you, or refused to stop, it’s time to get the boss involved. Provide documented evidence and clear examples to your boss of your co-worker’s inappropriate behavior, and ask them for help.

Although you and your co-worker might not become best friends, hopefully you can find a way to work together in harmony.


Bored With Your Workout — How to Spice Up Your Fitness Routine

Do you find that after a few weeks of going to the gym at the same time and doing the exact same exercises you become bored?Workout Tips

If your workout gets in a rut, you can feel unmotivated to go to the gym and this can get in the way of accomplishing your fitness goals.

Also, if you always do the same exercise each time you work out, you won’t enjoy the benefit of strengthening all of your muscles. Just sticking to one exercise routine is not the best way to achieve overall fitness and better health.

So what can you do to keep your fitness routine varied and interesting and keep yourself motivated?

Here are some tips:

Try a Class

Check the group exercise class schedule at your gym or your local recreation center. There will likely be a good selection of different classes to attend, such as yoga, dance, Pilates, kick-boxing, step aerobics, and many more.

Make it your goal to try as many as you can until you find your favorite. Classes can be a great way to work out, because you are more likely to push yourself more than when you exercise by yourself.

You will also work different muscle groups, and meet other people who are motivated and living a healthy lifestyle.

Challenge Yourself

Here’s another way to kick start your motivation for working out. When you go to the gym, take a small notebook and pencil with you.

When you do an exercise, such as push-ups, sit-ups, lifting weights, swimming lengths do as many as you can without stopping until you just can’t do any more.

Make a note with the date and write down the details of how many you did. Now, your goal for your next workout is to beat all of your past records. You can also make a goal to try a new exercise every time you workout.

Keeping score in this way helps you to track your progress, and it also gives you a goal to aim for. If you are trying to outdo your own performance, you will push yourself harder and be more motivated.

You can even promise yourself a reward if you manage to beat your previous totals, such as going to see a movie or doing something else you enjoy.

Bring a Friend

If one of your friends is moaning about how they need to get in shape, bring them to the gym with you! Most gyms will offer free guest passes or let your friend come for the day at a discounted rate if they are with you.

You can challenge and encourage each other, and teach each other new exercises. Just make sure that you don’t spend all of your time socializing!

These are a few ideas for mixing up your fitness routine and getting yourself motivated.

Have fun working out!

How to Get Great Customer Service Almost All the Time

I’m sure you’ve experienced excellent customer service before, and know how good it feels.Customer Service Wordle

Whether you called up to complain about a faulty product and hung up the phone smiling, or had a sales person help you find the perfect laptop for your needs at a great price, you know that good customer services makes you feel listened to and valued and solves your problems.

Great customer service is one of the cornerstones of success for every business but not all businesspeople are wired to deliver world-class customer service every single time.  That’s where your skills can come into play to improve your customer service experience.

Companies like Nordstrom and Zappos are world renowned for their incredible customer service.

Did you know that there are things that you can do to ensure that you get good customer service like this almost all of the time? There are ways that you can “help people help you” with your questions, quandaries and problems which will make them treat you better.

  • Be friendly and upbeat. Greet the person and smile. Even if you are upset about an issue, they will feel much better about helping you if you are not whining, complaining, or getting angry at them. See them as a person just like you and treat them with kindness.
  • Give them as much information as you can. For example, if you need to buy a cell phone you should tell the sales person exactly how much you will use it, which features you want, and what you will use it for. This will help them find you a product that is suited to your needs. If you need technical help with a product, explaining the problem clearly in detail will help them determine what is wrong.
  • Ask for what you want, politely and reasonably. Don’t push your luck by asking for something outrageous, but you will be surprised how many times you can negotiate a discount, waive a fee, or get a special discount just because you asked nicely.
  • Thank them for their time. It really helps to let the customer service representative know that you appreciate their efforts to assist you. If they do an exceptional job and you are really happy in the end, consider passing along an official compliment to their supervisor.
  • Become a regular. If you do all of these things in the same establishment frequently, the staff will get to know who you are and will likely treat you extra special because they value you as a customer.

Of course, this advice only works when the person you are dealing with is competent at customer service. Unfortunately this does not happen all the time. However, most of the time it will get you much better treatment, so why not give it a try?