Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Boost Your Metabolism!

(Check out Dr. Oz's Metabolism-Boosting Iced Tea Recipes!)

I really enjoy the "Eat Like Me" blog posts from Sarah-Jane Bedwell on  She offers great ideas for eating healthy, delicious foods.  Below is a post I refer to often as a reminder of natural ways to speed up my metabolism.  Some I've added to my routine and others I just need reminded of.  I wanted to share this in hopes it helps you, too!

7 Foods That Naturally Speed Up Your Metabolism

by Sarah-Jane Bedwell

Many diet pills and supplements promise to speed up your metabolism and help you burn fat. These are often empty promises. However, as these products and the claims they make are not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration. They also can come with great risk of dangerous side effects and in general are a waste of money.

The good news is that there are some things you can do naturally to rev up your metabolism. Here's my list of the top 7:
  1. Drink Green Tea: Studies have shown people who drink green tea burn up to an extra 70-100 calories per day due to the antioxidants called catechins (ECGC and polyphenols) in the tea. Brew your own tea and drink about 24oz. per day to get these benefits.
  2. Eat More Frequently: Never eat less than 1200 calories per day. Every time that you eat, your body experiences the thermic effect of food, which causes an increased metabolism. Eating something small every 3-4 hours can keep your metabolism raised.
  3. Do Cardio and Resistance Exercise: Exercise is one of the most important factors when it comes to increasing your metabolism. Do intense cardio for 30 minutes or more per day, and your metabolism can stay spiked for up to 2 hours afterwards. Break up your workout into two segments for even more benefits. Do resistance exercises 2-3 times per week to increase your muscle mass and therefore increase your resting metabolic rate to burn more calories 24/7!
  4. Get Plenty of Sleep: Studies from Harvard Medical School show that if you get less than 7 hours of sleep, your are more than 3 times likely to gain weight each year than if you get at least 7 hours. Energy and activity level is lower when you are tired, which means your metabolic rate decreases as well.
  5. Use Caffeine in Moderation: 1-2 cups of coffee per day (or other caffeinated, calorie-free beverage) has shown to be helpful in speeding up your metabolism. The amount of caffeine in just 1 cup of coffee can temporarily increase the metabolism by 15%.
  6. Eat Spicy Foods: Hot peppers (such as jalapeno and cayenne peppers) increase the body's release of certain hormones (adrenaline), which stimulates the metabolism and increases calorie burn. This is due to capsaicin, which is found in the peppers and increases uncoupling proteins found in the muscle. This causes the mitochondria to produce more heat; therefore, increasing the metabolic rate. Dried mustard and chili powder has been shown in some studies to cause the same effect.
  7. Eat Breakfast: If you eat a substantial and balanced breakfast, this will help increase your energy, control your appetite, and speed up your metabolism. Make sure your breakfast contains both complex carbs and protein.
Doing even just 1 of these 7 things can make a difference in your energy levels and metabolism; do all 7 things to reap maximum metabolism benefits!

. . . . . . . . . . .

* One word of caution... before you purchase green tea in bottles, be sure to look at the calories and sugar content.  I almost purchased one today that contained more sugar than a candy bar... NO JOKE!   

[UPDATE:  I added a post about this tea... it's called Green Leaf Tea.]

Happy BOOsting... and happy Halloween!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Caught A Glimpse

While rockin' some dance moves in Hip Hop Hustle last night, I caught a few glimpses of myself in the wall of mirrors.  In my mind I look like a modest Shakira or Britney Spears.  In real life, not so much.  

Suddenly, I found myself on a fast spiral of self criticism.  I started feeling embarrassed about my body and how overweight I looked.  I started noticing others in the room and wondered what they were thinking about me.  I started wishing I'd worn different clothes... or had better ones to choose from.  I started wishing my face wasn't broken out with acne because of the hormone issues I'm dealing with from the endometriosis. I started feeling grossed out by my hair and muffin top and my booty looked much larger than I realized.




"Gross!  Get away from me, Satan... I'm tryin' to dance!!!"

And just like that I was able to talk back to those thoughts.  I reminded myself, again, that we're all here to lose weight and/or be fit and healthy!  Other women in the room may be struggling with similar feelings of insecurity and inferiority and they're probably not thinking about me but trying, themselves, to stay in the game.  I reminded myself of how blessed I am to have clothes to choose from.  Period.  I reminded myself this acne is temporary and it doesn't change who I am inside.  I said "maybe if you'd wash your hair every once in a while"... okay, just kiddingBut I did say 'you're working out - who cares what your hair looks like?"  The muffin top and booty... well, it is what it is.  But guess what... IT'S SHRINKING!

AND, I'm going back for Zumba tonight!

Talk back to those thoughts.  
Tell the devil where to go.  
Keep dancin' or doin' what it is you do to get fit.
Don't be so hard on yourself.
Make your dream happen!


Monday, October 29, 2012

The Armor of God

"Satan, you're so GROSS.  GET AWAY FROM ME."

This is what I've been saying when the deceiver whispers little reminders of past hurts and failures in my ear.  He's vile.  I'm becoming much more aware of his schemes and tactics to get my eyes off God and away from my dreams.

Do you realize Satan has no power over you except what you allow him?  It's true!  When your eyes are focused on God and His plan for you, when you're relying on Him for everything, when you believe in Him and have faith that all things work together for your good, Satan is powerless.

But beware.  He's a tricky one.   

You'll find yourself focused on the right stuff, doing great things with good intentions, when suddenly your thoughts begin to shift to something negative from your past.  It might be some hurt from a past relationship, a failed attempt at losing weight or working out, piercing words from someone who was supposed to love and care about you, heartache from losing a baby or loved one, words you wish you'd never said, or a multitude of other pains and regret.  Two words... inferiority and insecurity.

Although these thoughts are normal, they aren't just coincidences.  They're intentional.  They're crafted carefully and delivered at precicely the right moment, when it will hit you hardest... or so he thinks.  The more you understand how he operates, the easier it will be to withstand these attacks.


God tells us in the Bible exactly how we can overcome these attacks... we put on the full armor of God!

Ephesians 6:10-18
"Finally, be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power.  Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.  For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.  Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.  Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace.  In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.  Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.  And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people."

Here's how you break it down:

Belt of Truth
God is real.  God loves you, and Jesus died for your sins.  God is on your side - that is the Truth!  Hold on to the Truth, and like a good tight belt, the truth will hold you up and keep you strong when Satan attacks.

Breastplate of Righteousness
Guard your heart. Always do what is right and good. That way, Satan won’t have anything to grab onto to worm his way into your heart.  You'll be able to stand straight and tall, with your head held high.

Shield of Faith
To protect yourself from Satan’s flaming arrows, take up the Shield of Faith!  The God of the Universe is on your side.  God is your protector.  Put your faith in Him and Satan cannot hurt you!

Sword of the Spirit
God has given us a weapon to fight back against Satan’s lies and accusations.  Our weapon is the truth of God’s Word.  It is the Bible.  God’s Word can cut Satan’s lies to pieces.  Use God’s Word to fight Satan just like Jesus did when Satan tempted Him in the desert.  The words of the Bible are your sword.

Helmet of Salvation
You are saved!  You are God’s child!  Satan has already lost, death is already defeated, and nothing can ever take you away from God.  Keep your thoughts always on that!

No doubt we have some work to do, but let's suit up and tell the devil to get behind us!  Then, let's get on with our day and make our dreams come true!



Friday, October 26, 2012

Our Thoughts Are Powerful

Today a Facebook status came across my news feed that said "Whatever you think about will come about!"

We easily forget the power of our thoughts.

Our thoughts can so quickly become our actions and, if we aren't careful, they'll lead us down a path we don't want to go.  A path of destruction.  A path of regret.  A path headed in the opposite direction of our dreams.

Just think about the thoughts that run through your head.  (The ones you don't verbalize.)  What are they saying?  Are they positive, uplifting, encouraging?  Would you allow another person to talk to you, or to someone else, this way?  Would you be comfortable saying these things out loud if Jesus were standing, in the flesh, in front of you?

EVERYONE deals with insecurities and feelings of inferiorityI've been talking about this a lot... it's Satan's dirty little secret.  He whispers negative things into our ears, he reminds us of past mistakes and failures, he tells us we're worthless - and we believe it, he points out other people and we start to compare.  It's an evil, negative cycle that sucks us in.  It keeps us miserable and unhappy... and eventually we stop dreaming.

The amazing news is our thoughts are as powerful in a negative way as they are in a positive way!  The more we think great things about ourselves, about others, about situations, the more likely we'll be to succeed in situations.  We'll be more apt to pick ourselves up after a fall (a mess-up, an "epic fail").  We'll be more likely to find the good in every situation, to see the blessings, to NOT be a victim!

What words, images, and thoughts go through your news feed on Facebook, Twitter, or other social networking site?  Are they positive?  Do you feel encouraged?  Do they bring hope and inspiration to your heart?  If not, make a change.  "Hide" news from those who spread negative, vulgar words and nasty images.  "Unlike" pages of bands, celebrities, books, companies, or blogs that don't contribute to your new outlook.  Replace them with words and images that will lift you higher and inspire!

And really evaluate the people you spend time with.  How are they impacting youAre you a better person after being around them?  Do they support your dreams?  Do they hold you accountable and speak the truth in love? 


Start becoming more aware of what you're thinking about yourself or others, whether you say it out loud or think it in your head.  If you find yourself looking in the mirror and thinking thoughts like "my stomach is so big" or "this acne on my face makes me look so gross", STOP AND CORRECT YOURSELF!  (You'll have to do this over and over until it becomes a habit... then you'll no longer think this way!)  Stop and say "Okay, yes - my stomach isn't where I'd like it, but I'm trying.  It's not going to change overnight.  I'm making better choices, eating healthier, and being more active.  I'm following the path to my dreams! Talk some sense into yourself!  The more you do this, the better it's going to get (I know first hand... I do this all day long.)

Here are some great tips for gaining confidence and kicking inferiority to the curb!  Just imagine the difference it could make if you read this everyday for the next month!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Pre & Post-Workout Eating

Working out this past week has been so fun!  I've slept better, I've felt better, and I'm proud of myself for being back on track.  This week I've had to refresh my memory on healthy eating, including the best pre and post-workout foods for ideal nourishment.  I've been a "pinning machine" on Pinterest adding great stuff to my Healthy Eatin' and Now Work It Out boards.  It's sparked some new ideas and I've tried some new things!

Here's a great Infographic from that helped me understand more about pre and post workout nutrition.  I hope you learn as much from it as I did!!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Wednesday Wow Factor!

Week 43
Start date
: 12/28/11
Initial weight:
Current weight:
This week's loss
: * first weigh-in for a "long time" *
Total weight loss:
10 pounds

Last week's dream focus: Pray about visiting the new gym tonight (last Wednesday), then visit; keep my thoughts focused on positive things; and gravitate towards my dream – envisioning how it will look and feel when it’s my new reality; in the meantime – I dream to embrace the transition!

What went well:  What DIDN’T go well this week?  (FINALLY.  I love saying that!)

I joined the gym, I’ve gone 4 times since Thursday, I did Hip Hop Hustle and Zumba classes and LOVED them, I’m eating really well and I don’t feel deprived.  My spirits are up, I’m focused on my dream, I’m believing in myself, and I’m certain my dream WILL be a reality.  I found out I only gained 10 pounds back in three months rather than the 20 I thought I’d gained!

I found two Dare to Dreamers from work who go to this gym AND I have three more friends who plan to join!  It’s just more fun to have the option to go with friends, especially in group classes.  I’m super excited about that!

Also, I’m mostly over my sinus infection and feeling much better, which helps with breathing during a workout!

Challenges:  The more I focus on the right things… on God, and the better I do in my journey, the more obstacles Satan likes to throw my way.  (If you’re on a similar journey, expect this.  He doesn’t want us to be successful.)  I’m getting used to telling him to get behind me.  It comes more naturally the more I do it… I'm developing a new HABIT!

This week's dream focus:  Continue going to the gym; add to the list of healthy food options and purchase healthier foods (because if healthy food is in the house – I’ll eat healthy foods.  If there’s crap food in the house, I’ll eat crap foods);  keep moving in the direction of my dream – envisioning how it will look and feel when it’s my new reality; continue embracing the transition!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

The Expert In Anything Was Once a Beginner

Well, Hip Hop Hustle was a BLAST!  We shook it, dropped it, and pumped our fists!  The room was packed and together we shed a pound or two.  I was sweaty and red and gross and in need of a shower when I left.  That's a good workout!

When I first arrived, I thought I'd pick up right where I left off back in June... ready to dance and move without any troubleI quickly realized the three month delay had impacted me.

I was out of breath and out of shape.  

With a wall of mirrors it was impossible not to notice myself and how I looked when I moved.  I didn't like what I saw.  It wasn't appealing to me.  I instantly felt embarrassed and wondered what other people might be thinking.  I felt ugly and fat and gross.  I wanted to leave.  I didn't think I looked good dancing and I started to question what I was even doing there.  I was wearing a t-shirt and yoga sweats while most everyone else had on cute workout tops and shorts.  

All of those thoughts lasted about three minutes... then I was reminded:

Inferiority and insecurity.

I realized I was comparing.  I was focused on the wrong things.  I was on the verge of allowing feelings of insecurity and inferiority to over take me.  

And just like that, I turned it around.

WE'RE AT A GYM!  A gym is a place people come to get fit, lose weight, and be healthy.  We're all here for similar reasons.  We all struggle with things we don't like about ourselves.  I'm certainly not the only overweight woman in the room.  I'm not the only first-timer.  I'm not the only one dealing with insecurity and inferiority.  I'm probably not the only one who's fighting off the urge to compare.  I'm not the only one who's out of breath and out of shape.  


We're all women struggling with similar and different emotions.  I thank God I'm now aware of how Satan uses insecurity and inferiority to attack us and keep us from bringing our dreams to life... to keep us unhappy, miserable, unfruitful people.  We're all beautiful and have so much to offer the world... and it doesn't matter our size.  From our heart the mouth speaks... and I hope it's pretty.  And our thoughts can easily become our actions if we aren't careful.

So you know what I did?  I told Satan - once again - where to go.  "Get behind me!  I'm about to shake these hips!"  And from that point on, I had fun with it.  I put on an authentic smile and rocked that hustle... and I didn't care how it looked to anyone else, because in a few months I'm gonna be even better at it.  I'll no longer be a beginner!

Oh and Zumba, look out tonight.  YOU'RE NEXT!