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7 Tips for a Healthier Halloween

PumpkinWhen I think of Halloween I think of Candy!  Loads of it and it can be scarier than the goblins toting it around!  For those of us with a sweet tooth, what is to become of us on Halloween night? 

Here's a few other helpful tips to remember when your sweet tooth is twitching…..

1) DO NOT buy any Halloween candy! Or, buy candy that you do not like. It is better to give out small packets of pretzels, play-do or fruit roll ups. 

2) Keep in your mind that there will always be candy, but you are choosing to improve your health right now, and candy will not help you reach your goal! 

3) Freeze crystal light for a fruity, candy-like desert. 

4) Sugar free jell-o is a great candy-like snack 

5) Do not stay at home on Halloween handing out your treats. Instead, grab a bottle of water and take a nighttime walk around the neighborhood to take in all the ghoulish sights! 

6) Bring healthy snacks to work to keep from being tempted by candy in the office. 

7) A great idea to help keep the piles of candy from going into your children’s body.  Have them pick out 5 pieces of candy out of their bag and “buy” the rest of the bag from them for 10 dollars and then take them to the toy store to get a prize! Remember to throw the bags of candy away or give to a shelter!

Remember, a great analogy is the concert pianist.  If you were a child, and you wanted to be a concert pianist (primary goal) you would need to practice every day (secondary goal), and make choices that may not be your favorite (not get to play with friends, travel, lessons, miss parties, miss play dates, etc.)  But you would perform these secondary goals if it helps you to reach your primary goal.

Well, we are doing the same thing.  Our primary goal is to lose weight, get healthy and live an extraordinary life. Some secondary goals are to exercise daily, drink water, stay away from extra carbohydrates and starches with empty calories, possibly decide not to go to some parties and do not eat Halloween candy! 

We will make these secondary choices because it will help us to reach what is most important to us right now to lose weight, feel great and to achieve our goals and dreams! 

Are you fit to serve?

MilitaryIf there were a terrorist attack yesterday on Sept. 11, 2011 and you were called to serve your country, city, community, and family, would you be "fit to serve"?  The 'weight' of our nation's health challenge now seems to be breaking the back our national security initiatives. 

An article by Christian Davenport and Emma Brown that appeared in the Washington Post said that about a third of all potential recruits can’t join the military because they’re too overweight and out of shape.

The article notes that to pass an Army physical fitness test, an 18-year-old male must be able to do 42 push-ups in two minutes, 53 sit-ups in two minutes, and run two miles in 15 minutes and 54 seconds.

“When you get kids who can’t do push-ups, pull-ups, or run, this is a fundamental problem not just for the military but for the country,” said Curtis Gilroy, the Pentagon’s director of accessions policy.

He says, “Many kids are not taking physical education in school; they’re more interested in sedentary activities such as the computer or television. And we have a fast-food mentality in this country.”

General Johnnie E. Wilson retired from the U.S. Army in 1999 and serves on the Executive Advisory Council of Mission: Readiness. Shortly after the launch of Michelle Obama's Let’s Move campaign, he offered this insight in The Atlanta Journal Constitution (AJC):

“The tie between military readiness and nutrition is long-standing. In 1946, the population was so undernourished that many youth were unable to serve their country. Military leaders knew then that the country’s defense required action and pushed for a new school lunch program. This step did not end child hunger, but it did make a difference in improving child nutrition.”

He notes, “We all have a role to play to ensure that our children have the chance to live healthier lives. For those of us who have dedicated our lives to protecting our country, this is a national priority.” 

Preparing ourselves and our children and grandchildren to be "Fit to Serve" may seem to be a bit too much to think about right now in your journey but I believe it's good to know how unhealthy we are as a nation to provoke us into action.  

Maybe it isn't very realistic for you to think you'll be called on to serve your country in the military after a terrorist attack.  However, answering the question "Could I serve others in a state of emergency and am I leading the next generation to a healthier lifestyle to protect our great nation?" are two important questions to think about.  

Most of us have the ability to serve our family, friends, community and city by serving up better quality nutrition and portion sizes along with regular exercise and activity.  Are you staying committed to doing so to achieve the trilogy of optimal health (health body, mind and finances)?

Epic Failures Can Lead To Extraordinary Success

FailureHow did you do this last week in pursuit of your health and lifestyle goals?  Did you have a big win or a few epic failures in judgement?

From my experience in coaching others I've seen "epic failures" lead to extraordinary success if the person uses the situation as a teachable moment.  You see many people say they want to live a healthier life but fail to do so. Why? Often, its because they are short on persistence and short on commitment. When the first (or second, or third, or fourth) obstacle comes along or they fail to reach a goal they set for themself, they get frustrated and simply give up. 

What they don't realize is these obstacles or failures are not stop signs, they are learning experiences to teach us how to do it right.

The central reality of human experience is ?failure? or you experience a life "half-lived". The real question is not whether we will fail, but how we will respond to "failure".  Notice I've placed quote marks around the word "failure" because apparent failure is actually nothing more than a test of our personal commitment to stick it out and persist. It's better to think of this as "the failure test" than as some divine sign we should not pursue our goals after all. Some of us will pass the failure test - others will not.

Here's a brief list of just a few extraordinary people who passed the "failure test" with flying colors: 

- Lucille Ball was tossed out of drama school with a note that advised, "Wasting her time; she's too shy to put her best foot forward." 

- The Beatles failed an audition with Decca Records, whose talent scout dismissed their sound and warned their manager that guitar groups were "on the way out." 

- Albert Einstein dropped out of high school and failed his entrance exam for college. 

- Walt Disney was fired from a newspaper job because he lacked "imagination" and had "no original ideas."

The only people who never "fail" are those who never try anything new!  For the rest of us, the question is what happens AFTER "failure"?

One secret to staying committed to your desired outcome or goal to spend considerable time thinking about it with a positive expectation. A particularly effective way to do this is to create a vision board ? something you can see every day that incorporates vivid pictures of all the benefits you will receive from pursuing your dream. In addition, you should create a long written list of reasons to take action on your mission in life, and review those reasons regularly.

You must create commitment daily and take action daily, if you wish to turn your dream into reality. You need to do something each and every day in support of your goal, regardless of how big or little what you are doing appears to you to be right now. 

Re-commit to your goals and action plan today and stay on the path to the top of extraordinary health mountain!  You're getting healthier each and every day you stay on it and focus on reaching the top.