Category Archive: Lifestyle

Sep 30

False Assumptions and Rainbows

 

Family & F.I.T.  |  Debbie Hatch

I’d like to talk for a minute about false assumptions and rainbows.  

 

FACTS:  I’m a personal trainer.  

               I’m certified in nutrition.

               I’m pretty good at what I’ll call “bull-dogging”

                             …setting goals and not letting go until I have accomplished them.  

 

Because of these things, many people assume I must exercise and “eat right” all the time.

  • These are both false assumptions. 

 

First of all, there is NO right or wrong way to eat!!  What people usually mean when they use those words is that I only eat “low fat, low sugar,  ‘healthy food like fruits and vegetables’.”

 

 

Here is the truth about my diet.

 

Everyday that I’m home {Every. Single. Day.} the first thing I do, when I get out of bed, is eat one frozen chocolate chip cookie and drink a cup of coffee.  I put a splash of Bailey’s in that coffee.  Every. Single. Day.  I’ve been doing this for seven or eight years.  If you want proof of these statements, I can provide references! 

 

Here are three further facts you need to be aware of though:

 

(1) It’s only “every day I’m home”, and I’m only home two or three mornings a week.  I spend a lot of time on the road for business.

(2) I don’t have Bailey’s with a little coffee.  I have coffee with a little Bailey’s.  It’s a regular sized cookie – not 3 cookies made into one.  I don’t eat cookies all day.  I don’t stuff my body with fat, sugar, and things like that all day.

(3) I always follow-up my cookie and coffee with a high protein meal (pretty typically either protein waffles/pancakes or an egg white omelet).

 

Here is the truth about my exercise.

 

 

I’m prepping for my first ever powerlifting meet right now.  I work out 4 days a week, normally for 30-45 minutes each time.  I spend that entire time lifting weights. 

 

Only.  

 

 

 

I do not get on the stair stepper, elliptical, bicycle, nor treadmill and gut out an hour of cardio.  Ever.  Not because “cardio is bad” no more than “food is bad”.  Not because cardio doesn’t serve a purpose.  Cardio IS good for our heart, lungs, and circulatory system.  I do very occasionally add in a short run, some rowing, go to a class, or do a video both because I like to, and because they’re good for me.   Most of my cardio comes from walking, sprinting, or hiking – because I enjoy those things and – another fact – if I don’t like it, I’m not going to do it.  The same is true for you… 

 

Hours of cardio is what many people believe is required in order for them to lose weight.  

  • That’s a false assumption.  

 

Diet and exercise are both critical components of losing weight – AND staying healthy.

 

Sleep and stress reduction have a lot to do with it too!  Increasing muscle mass is an excellent way to lose fat and reshape the body.

 

 

So what does the rainbow have to do with any of this? 

 

I snapped a photo of the rainbow over my back yard, this morning.  It was only there for a couple minutes, but long enough for me to see it.  Long enough for me to sit on the porch sipping the coffee and eating the cookie my husband made for me, and enjoy its presence. 

 

It was there long enough for me to think, “I might only come home for weekends but, I’m so glad I DO get to come home for the weekends – to enjoy this place and these things.”   It was there long enough for me to consider the fact that so many people make false assumptions about my “healthy life” and to realize that I wanted to (once again…) share the truth.  The only reason I wrote the blog is because of the rainbow.  Is it waxing poetic to say, “I’ll consider it a little bit of gold”? 

xo

Jul 21

Strangers Aren’t the Ones we Need to Fear Most

Family & F.I.T.  |  Debbie Hatch
If you have been or are currently in a domestic violence situation, this message comes with a trigger warning.
 
 
Other than that…
I am not going to sugar-coat this.
I am not going to try to word it tactfully.
I am not going to apologize if this upsets you. It should!
 
It upsets me, too. A LOT.
 
I grew up in a home where, more than once, I went to bed thinking my mother might be dead before morning. She’s had multiple broken bones and countless injuries over the past 45 years. I have multiple friends who have been in abusive relationships. I’ve been the recipient of domestic violence myself, numerous times. In my experience, it is not strangers that I’ve needed to be fearful of.
 
I also worked as a dispatcher for the State Police. So…I’m not surprised at this headline. “Most female homicide victims are killed by husbands or other intimate partners.”
 
I am; however, shocked, incredibly sad, and very angry at this stated fact:
 
“A report out Thursday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that homicide is the FIFTH LEADING CAUSE OF DEATH FOR WOMEN AGES 18 TO 44. In 2015 alone, 3,519 women and girls were killed. More than half of these killings were perpetrated by current or former boyfriends, husbands or other intimate partners.”
It’s incredibly difficult to do.  I know that.  Women stay for a variety of reasons.  I know that, too.  But…get help.  Please.  It doesn’t get better.

Jul 11

People who Workout Frequently are Still Just People

Debbie Hatch  |  Family & F.I.T.

The recent move to Nebraska is #19 for me.  I have an affinity for that number (Ka) so that’s cool.  We’ll have at least one, maybe two, more moves before we settle into a “forever home”.  There have been a lot of transitions for this small town, Maine girl, over the years.  I don’t complain – although there have been some assignments that initially concerned or scared me; one time when I hid from my husband so he wouldn’t see my cry at the news; three times when he watched me cry because we were leaving people I loved and I just couldn’t hide it; and some places I don’t care to ever return to.

 

For the most part, though, this is just a normal part of life for military families and it’s been pretty amazing.  I view every move as a big adventure. In talking to some of my friends this week, we don’t know whether we love it or hate it.  To be honest, for  me it’s a constant melding of both…

 

 

  • IT’S EXCITING 

There are new places to explore. New things to do.  New people to meet.  It keeps me from getting into much of a rut because nothing stays the same (except family – that’s the one constant, and SO very important).

 

  • IT’S STRESSFUL 

You, and every single thing you own (material things of financial value but most importantly, those things that have only great emotional value – the clothes you brought your babies home from the hospital in; their kindergarten drawings and homemade Christmas ornaments, etc) have to safely make your way across the country, or the globe.  There are new things and places to learn.  We need to find a new vet, new doctor, new dentist, new hairdresser, bank, grocery store, insurance carrier, and so much more.

 

  • IT’S SAD

We’re always saying, “see you later” (which is goodbye a large percentage of the time although none of us like to put it that way) constantly. Either you, or your friends are moving.  I’ve left my sisters (which hurt) and both of my children (which hurt even more).  I have honed an ability to disconnect from people and places.  Good and bad.  It can be hard to make friends. The situation sometimes hurts people because I don’t always cry when I say goodbye.  This transitory lifestyle has an up-side though.

 

We have friends all over the world.  We really do have a second (military) family.  We have the ability to not see people for years, yet fall into easy, comfortable conversation the next time we do talk.  It keeps me appreciative of things and relationships when I have them.  I know, for sure, everything in life is temporary.  Many people never realize this until it’s almost too late.

 

Ugh.

 

This reflective mood has been brought on by the fact that today I will go to a new gym.  My realtor gave me a month’s free membership to a local barbell club.  Perfect!  I’m excited but also super anxious. As much time as I spend in the weight room, and as long as I’ve been going to the gym, I’m comfortable in that environment.

 

It’s still not easy though.  People who work out frequently are still just regular people.  It’s a new place.  New environment.  New people.  I’m a private individual for the most part so none of this really thrills me.  Will I fit in?  Will this be a good fit for me?  Will I feel intimidated or make a fool of myself?

 

I want to go – but I don’t.  Know what I mean? 

 

I will. 

 

We’re busy and in the middle of a cross-country move.  It would be easy to say, “I can’t” and at least partially convince myself that’s really true.  But I’d only every partially believe it.  So I will get dressed.  I will make the drive.  I will take a deep breath and walk inside.  I will do my workout.  It will all be okay…it’s just a little uncomfortable.

 

Places don’t become home…

People don’t become friends…

Situations don’t become comfortable…

Unless we put ourselves out there.

Jun 09

What Do You Do When Life is Insane?

Family & F.I.T.  |  Debbie Hatch

 

Things are about to get (more) insane around here.
My kids and grandchildren are all traveling to my house over the next 36 hours. We’ll have 6 adults and 5 kids. It will be loud and chaotic. It will be crazy. It will be amazing. I’ll be knee deep in babies and I’ll be loving it. We’re going to have so much fun.
 
They will all be here for a week.  #mycrewe
 
The same day they leave, I’m leaving. We all have a 6 am flight. I’ll be on the road for business for 2 straight weeks, holding a TSP webinar, and also indulging in an annual girls’ weekend between those commitments with 3 of my very best friends. #vegasgirls
 
I have to catch a red-eye home at the end of that trip, to have a closing on our new house. We will then have 3 days during which the packers will be here; everything will be boxed up, we’ll have our final home inspection, wrap up things in DC and hop in the truck and drive from here to Nebraska.
 
There will be a little stress.  #thisislife 
I’ll handle it by remaining steadfast in my commitments to myself.
 
==> I WILL WORKOUT. If I don’t make it to the gym, I’ll run, play on the playground with the babies, dance, or do something with my exercise bands.
==> I WILL FIND SOME TIME TO WRITE every day – even if it’s only 5 or 10 minutes before I get out of bed.
 
….because if you only work on your goals when life is uncomplicated and not stressful, you’re never going to work on your goals.
 
xo

Mar 09

Don’t Follow “All of the Rules”

Family & F.I.T.  |  Debbie Hatch 

3 Simple Tips to Break Free

 

 

I received an email a few days ago from a woman desperate for help.  She’s continued to gain weight and is incredibly frustrated.  She feels trapped.  It occurred to me that the response I sent her might also be of value to other people so I want to share that here.

 

 

If I were to give you a bit of free, personal advice, my top 3 tips would be these:

 

 

START WALKING

A little bit every single day.

Outside is best, and as we move toward spring hopefully that will get easier.

Both literally and figuratively, baby steps ARE still steps.  Small changes tend to be more sustainable over

the long term.

 

DON’T WORRY ABOUT FOLLOWING ALL THE DAMN RULES.

 

Don’t try to be perfect.  Don’t go on a crazy strict diet.  Don’t detox.  Don’t try to live on salad.  Don’t start exercising 3-4 hours a day.

 

Pick ONE thing to change for the next two weeks.

Drink more water.  Eat more vegetables.  Make one meal a day “perfect”.

 

Focus on dinner since that’s where you said you have the most problems. You “don’t like to cook but like a hot meal”. Me too!!!  But you have to get comfortable cooking a little bit.

 

How about throwing something in the crockpot before you go to work?

 

How about cooking on Sunday afternoon? I grill a huge package of chicken, scramble up some ground turkey, and steam veggies on Sunday afternoon. I put all of these in individual containers and throw them in the frig. Then, in the evening, I just pop one in the microwave.
OR
Pick a few local places to pick up food on the way home. I love Chipotle (salad with black beans, fajita veggies, chicken, mild and corn salsa is what I order 99% of the time), Panera (just about anything although I normally pick an apple vs bagette) or Applebee’s (shrimp and steak with potatoes and veggies).

 

PLAN TO EAT MOSTLY NUTRITIOUS MEALS EACH DAY

 

Protein (e.g. meet, egg white, protein powder) with every single one of them

Some carbs (veggies mostly, but also fruit and grains) with every one – and

Healthy fat (olive oil, nuts) with at least two.

 

Scatter in snacks, treats, and the things you love.  Making them “off limits” does nothing but make you want them more.  You are not going to go through the rest of your life never again eating chocolate cake (or…..)

 

**********

I might also suggest you pick up a copy of one or both of these books:

 

or

 

 

Both are written by people I’ve personally met, and trust: they’re reasonable, habit based, solutions.

Hope some of this helps. I’m here if you need anything.

Debbie

Jan 06

What’s Your Nutritional Plan?

Debbie Hatch  |  Family & F.I.T.  

Between posting my dive photo for #GGSFlawless, yesterday, and a question asked in one of the forums I follow.

“What nutrition plan does everybody follow?”

I’ve been thinking a lot about nutritional habits.

 

I’ve written down everything I eat for as long as I can remember. I have food journals dating back 30 years. No joke!!

 

 

 

I competed in Figure for a number of years and started counting macros – a whole new level of “writing stuff down”.

I did that (to the extreme) for about 5 years. There was good that came of it too. I can eyeball one serving of “this” and 3 ounces of chicken, like nobody’s business. Seriously, one of the reasons I start my clients out counting macros is because most of us have no idea how much (or little) we’re actually eating and we don’t know how much one serving is. Tracking gets you familiar with both.

 

 

For the last two – it was Thanksgiving at my son’s house two years ago that I decided not to count my food – I’ve done very little counting or recording.

 

I still worry about it sometimes.

“Oh my gosh…how many calories have I eaten today?”

“Is my protein on point?”

“How long can I get away without writing stuff down?”

 

BUT – – I am in the best shape of my life.
Not counting.

Protein Waffles (egg whites& protein powder)        topped with Greek yogurt and fruit.

 

There ARE certain things I do.

1. I make sure I have some protein with every meal.

 

2. I have a salad at least once a day (all the veggies, no cheese and typically little to no dressing).
3. I drink lots of water.

 

4. Before I eat, I check in.  I ask myself, “Are you really hungry? Would you sit down and eat fish and veggies right now?” OR “Are you just in a mood to munch? Do you just want that candy because it’s sitting here?” If I wouldn’t eat the fish, but I would eat the carrot cake, I’m probably not really hungry……

5. I no longer (I was raised this way…..it was a hard habit to break) feel like I need to clean my plate. I stop when I’m full – not when the plate is empty.

Keep it simple.

Dec 31

Was 2016 (Really) “The Worst Year Ever?”

Family & F.I.T.  |  Debbie Hatch

 

This is not a blog about politics.  It is not about socio/economic affairs.  It is not a debate.  This blog is about resiliency, reality, and mindset.

 

Let me ask you this:  What does your FB feed look like right now?

Mine is (has been for the past two weeks) filled with statements and memes about how horrible 2016 has been. That’s not how I usually handle things.  To each his/her own – there’s no judgement even in this, but

I prefer to review what good came of the past year (for me personally, professionally, and our world).  I prefer to make a plan for moving forward rather than staying mired in the past.  Acknowledge that stuff.  Feel it.  Work through it.  Don’t get stuck there.

 

I’ve been pushed to my limit for the “2016 was the worst year ever!” stuff so I spent a little time doing research this morning.

Turns out that 2016 may not have been “the worst year ever!”  It may not even have been the worst year in recent history.  Some really scary, bad stuff happened!  Absolutely.  I am not minimizing that in any way.  Before we lose all perspective, though, let’s do a quick history review of our recent past.  Not the past 50 years, just the 15 before this one.  Not all of the events, just a few of the quickest-to-grab highlights.  These are in no particular order and I’m making no judgment as to whether these are more/less important than other things that have happened.

 

Do you remember:

 

– The US 2000 Presidential Election? 

So contentious and tight that it went all the way to the Supreme Court! The term “hanging chads” became a national punchline as Florida seemed to have difficulty counting hand-punched ballots. This was the first time in our history that the SCOTUS had to settle a presidential election.

 

– Terrorist attacks of 2001?

2,996 people died immediately, 6,000 more were wounded. That doesn’t include residual deaths from breathing noxious chemicals of burning materials.

– The wars in Iraq/Afghanistan? (2002/2003 – today)

Official numbers for civilian deaths Iraq over a 13-year period stand between 168,905 and 188,152.  Total violent deaths including combatants 251,000.  We’re still fighting.  68 died last week.  149,000 people died/were killed in Afghanistan and Pakistan over this period.

 

– The 2004 Indian Ocean Earthquake?

The 3rd largest quake ever recorded on a seismograph.  280,000 people died within a few hours, in more than 10 countries hit by surging waves; 200,000 in Sumatra alone.

 

– Hurricane Katrina in 2005?

1,836 people killed.  Rescue efforts led to a national conversation about race, poverty, and the efficacy of bureaucratic aid. The storm also destroyed $108 billion worth of property, making it the costliest hurricane in American history.

 

– Virginia Tech Shooting, 2007?

Second-deadliest school massacre in American history.  32 people killed and 23 others wounded.

 

– The Market Meltdown of 2008?

This wasn’t about physical casualty but it put a few things in perspective for us. We were going backwards!  The median U.S. household income in 2000 was $52,500. In 2008, it was $50,303. In 2000, 11.3% of Americans were living below the poverty line. By 2008, that figure was 13.2%.  I’m well aware that we need to be careful reporting such statistics – they have been changed several times, and are frequently massaged by whomever is doing the reporting.  No question, though that our financial institutions, auto manufacturers and housing industries all but failed.  We had government bailouts.

 

– Back to Back Earthquakes in Haiti in 2010?

The first earthquake measured 7.0.  A second, measuring 6.1 occurred a week later.  At least (reported numbers vary) 46,000 people died although the death toll may have been as high as 110,000.

– Hurricane Sandy, 2012?

87 fatalities occurred in the US. At least 126 additional fatalities occurred in the Caribbean and Bahamas.

This was also the year of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings where we saw 6 year old children and their teachers/caretakers killed.  I remember exactly where I was and how hopeless I felt when I heard this news.

 

– Boko Haram abduction in 2014?

276 Nigerian girls were abducted from a boarding school in the northeastern town of Chibok.  Here’s something you might not know.  Despite a “very aggressive” #bringbackourgirls Twitter campaign, as of May 2016, 218 of these girls are still in captivity.  The world has simply forgotten about them and moved on. It’s what we do.

 

Let’s not forget the Ferguson riots that spread over a four-month period of time.

 

There were 355 tornadoes throughout the Midwest and Southeastern US.

The worst being in Joplin, MO and Tuscaloosa, AL.  606 people died.

 

– Paris Attacks of 2015?

130 people killed and almost 500 injured.

 

“Peaceful protestors” (title provided by news agencies, not myself) lit 144 vehicles and 15 structures on fire in Baltimore, MD. 2,000 National Guard activated, 500 additional law enforcement officers from Maryland and as many as 5,000 from around the mid-Atlantic region responded.

 

Frightening stuff happens in our world.  Catastrophe’s – both created by man and nature.  We should care about this stuff.  We should not give up.  We should not tear ourselves apart, and/or burn our cities down in an outcry that “this is the worst…. ever.”

 

Guess what else….

People got married (both of my kids and numerous friends, within this 15 year period:  my daughter, in 2016).
– People were born (every one of my 5 grandchildren:  one grandson in 2016).
– Friends came through illnesses and injury (Rebeca and Linda in 2016)..
– Friends & family worked through significant life events (almost every one I know in 2016).
– People got jobs and promotions.  My company grew; both in size and number of customers – in 2016.
– Kids started, and finished, school.

A lot of good stuff happened every single year. Significant stuff.

 

I am very much looking forward to 2017.

 

Nov 23

Thriving Throughout the Holidays

Family & F.I.T.  |  Debbie Hatch

 

I wrote Part I of this blog on Monday.  It discussed why people worry about “Surviving the Holidays”, and some of the misinformation accompanying that madness from the diet industry.  You can find it here.

screen-shot-2016-11-23-at-5-42-04-amToday, in Part II, I’d like to give you my Top 10, plus 2 (I’m an over-achiever) ways you might thrive, rather than just survive this holiday season.

 

In no particular order:

 

  1. Get some exercise. Not as “punishment” for eating! Rather, because movement is good for your body and soul.  It makes you feel better and it helps digestion.

1917464_1250768301841_3677420_n

How do I do it?  I have, historically, done a 5K Turkey Trot in the morning – sometimes organized, sometimes with just my husband, sometimes alone.  It’s not a group that makes the turkey trot, it’s the trotting before the turkey J

 

 

 

  1. Drink some water. Yes, this one again! Here are ten quickie reasons from this article why we should drink water:  (1) If we don’t drink water, we will die…more quickly.  While this should be enough to convince you!!, here are the others.  (2) Various research says staying hydrated can reduce risk of colon and bladder cancer. (3) Be less cranky:  dehydration can affect your mood.  (4) Hydration contributes to increased athletic performance.  (5) It helps you lose weight:  many times we’re actually thirsty when we think we’re hungry (6) Water helps decrease join pain. (7) It flushes out waste and bacteria. (8) Dehydration causes headaches. (9) It’s great for skin – the largest organ in our body!  And (10) It aids digestion.

screen-shot-2016-11-23-at-5-18-22-am

 

How do I do it?  After my first cup of coffee, as I’m cooking and working around the house, water will be my drink of choice.  I’ll save the glass of wine for dinner.

 

 

 

 

  1. Have breakfast. “Saving your calories” for later may seem like a good idea, but it isn’t.  Skipping everything up to the “big meal” makes that meal even bigger!  You’ll be more hungry and therefore, more apt to overeat.

fullsizerender

 

How do I do it? While I will limit snacks until our meal is served, I will have my normal protein and carb breakfast.

 

 

 

 

  1. Focus on the people, not just the food. Chances are that many of us will be with family and friends.  {Certainly not everyone.  If you’re experiencing the blues, clinical anxiety, or depression – which can all be magnified at this time of the year, don’t hesitate to seek professional assistance from a qualified mental health professional.}  Spend time having conversations, playing games, and enjoying each other’s company.

 

222015_1880275359124_5667102_nHow do I do it?  I love the interaction.  I’m the one who suggests a game or asks questions that might be pondered, and give us an opportunity to truly talk.  I’m leery of sitting out snacks during this time.  It’s super easy to eat the entire bowl of peanuts while talking, without even being aware of it.

 

 

  1. Fill your plate differently. Start with some type of protein, then add vegetables.  Starch comes last.

How do I do it?  I promise you, I AM going to have a little bit of everything that makes this holiday special to my palate.  I love cranberry sauce, stuffing, and pumpkin pie with – a fair amount of – whipped cream on top. I’m going to start, though, with turkey, carrots, and a little sweet potato.  In re-reading this, I noticed I’ve inadvertently typed “a little bit” and a “little”.  Exactly!!  Priorities first and then just a little bit of everything else.

 

  1. Stuffing is for the turkey: not you. There is no reason to eat until you are uncomfortable, and chopping on Tums to help with heartburn. You know how that feels and it’s not good.

 

How do I do it?  See #5, I will start with my turkey and veggies.  I’ll add a spoonful or two of everything else.  Once I’m finished with the plate, I’m going to sit my fork down and wait 10-15 minutes (see #4, I’ll be talking).  At the end of that time, IF I’m hungry, I will get some more.  I will not eat because, “If I miss this opportunity, I will not get mashed potatoes and gravy or those yeast rolls for a whole year…”   Plus, while the pie might have tasted absolutely fantastic on bites 1 – 3, bite 20 has lost some of the original appeal.  I’ll just stop.

 

  1. Clear the food away right after the meal. If it’s sitting out, you know you will pick. Not because you’re hungry but because it’s there.

 

  1. Move a little in the afternoon. I know how easy (and typical) it is to eat mountains of food, be too full to move, and crash on the couch in front of the television for the rest of the day. That’s all cool.  But, if you see #6, by not stuffing yourself, you will feel better.  Go for a walk.  Play a little soccer of football with the family.  Then turn on the game.

 

reason-72

 

How do I do it?  This is a perfect time to chase my grandchildren around.  We could go for a walk, ride bikes, check out the playground, or throw rocks at the lake.  The possibilities are endless.  The fresh air is good for body, soul, and digestion too.

 

 

 

 

 

 

  1. Remember that this (one day) is the holiday. We have a tendency to stretch the holidays out and act as though the weeks between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day is one continual holiday.  When we start eating as if the holiday starts on Saturday (Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, or even Wednesday), it will continue through Thursday night.  On Friday, there will be leftovers to take care of.  By then, we’ll be getting close to Christmas (Hanukkah, Boxing Day, Kwanzaa, Ramadan, or Festivus) – and then we’re getting close to New Year’s.  Oh, what to heck?  We might as well wait for January and start fresh at that point.  Sound familiar?

 

How do I do it?  I enjoy the family time, the meal, and special foods of the holiday.  I don’t turn it into a “season”.  That means Monday – Wednesday before Thanksgiving, I’ll eat my normal, nutritious food.  I won’t have pie until Thursday.  I will freeze some food on Friday rather than thinking I have to eat it all.

 

 

  1. Enjoy the food you do eat. Unless you have an impending physical competition, enjoy a piece of your grandmother’s pecan pie or Challah French toast.  Try your sister’s cornbread stuffing, latkes, mincemeat, or egg nog. Those of us fortunate enough to be able to celebrate, should be grateful for the opportunity.  Enjoy family, friends, and yes, food.

 

screen-shot-2016-11-23-at-5-37-40-am

 

How do I do it?  I’ll be mindful of everything I put in my mouth.  I’ll savor each taste and texture. I’ll sit down, or at the very least stand in one place.

 

 

 

 

  1. Stop eating out of guilt. Just because somebody made this food, and it’s sitting there, doesn’t mean it’s your job to eat all the food!  We all have that pushy co-worker or family member. Don’t make a big deal of it.  Take a little piece of whatever they’re offering if you feel you must.  Have a bite or two but don’t feel like you’re required to eat it all.

How do I do it?  My mom is a pusher! Always has been.  She shows love by baking.  Somewhere along the line, I had to come to the realization that blaming her for the amount I was eating, was just an excuse.  She made the food.  I ate because I wanted to.

I’m just saying

  • Don’t have it just because somebody else is.
  • Don’t complain about your food choices.
  • Don’t play the “poor me, I can’t have that” card.
  • Don’t die-t!!
  • Make consistent nutritional choices for YOU – and own that decision.

 

  1. Control what you can control. You might not be able to change the crazy hectic schedule but you do have the choice of going back for that second plate of food, or not.  You choose whether you’re going to munch, even when no one else is around.  You can choose to go for a walk.

 

You can pick 1 or 2 things out of this list and set them as personal priorities for the day.  I would love it if you did!  I would love it even more if you’d share your experience with me.

Nov 21

This BS About Surviving the Holidays

Debbie Hatch  |  Family & F.I.T.

The days are shorter.  There’s a nip in the air; although I have to say it seems warmer, everywhere I’ve been recently, than is typical.  The airports were packed yesterday.

It’s the week of Thanksgiving.  Already.

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First, let me say this. Many people struggle through the holiday season.  Some are alone and feel isolated; some struggling with money, stress, relationships, or any other number of things.  Some people have lost family members, jobs, homes, or love in the past and the holidays can reopen those wounds.   This may result in a case of the blues, or clinical anxiety and depression.  Please don’t hesitate to seek professional assistance from a qualified mental health professional if you’re struggling.  That’s not what this blog is about.

 

I want to talk specifically about the “Survive the Holidays” madness.  In fact, I have so much to say, I’m breaking this blog into two sections! 

 

Part I:  The Craziness Itself

 

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If I had a dollar for each of the “survive the holidays diet”, “3-day ‘pre-detox'”, “wrap”, “cream”, “pill”, “powder”, and/or “shake” messages I’ve seen come across my FB feed, in the last couple of weeks, I would have enough to celebrate Thanksgiving on a dive boat in the South Pacific with several of my friends and family members.

 

 

I typed, “Survive the Holidays” into Google and netted 18,900,000 results (0.31seconds) and another 338,000 when I added “how to” before that phrase.   And a “pre-detox”?  WTH?  Yup, it turns out that really IS “a thing”. That garnered me 656,000 results.  Check it out on google but keep your money in your pocket.  Your liver, intestines, kidneys, and lymphatic system are your body’s natural detox organs.

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But, I digress.  On to surviving the holidays…..

 

Why do we worry about it?

 

PARTY!!!  From now until after January 1st, there will be parties, at work and within our other social groups.  It has been proven that we eat more in groups.  Everyone else is eating.  We eat mindlessly – putting food into our mouths, washing it down with tasty beverages, all while we’re talking.  That plate of food is gone before we can even muse, “Yum.  Meatballs!  I need this recipe.”

 

FOOD!!!  There are tasty treats everywhere.  Pie.  Cookies.  Donuts.  Egg nog.  Mashed potato with gravy and sweets with marshmallows.  Fudge and chocolates.  Wine and spiced cider. Cake.  Stuff we only see at this time of the year, frequently made by people we love.

 

NO SUN!!!  The days are shorter so we feel less motivated to exercises when it’s dark as we get out of work. Oh my gosh, I’m really struggling with this one!! It’s starting to get cooler – adding that to the early darkness, we feel more like curling up on the couch than going to the gym.  It also leads to craving more warm and hearty foods.  We drink less water than when it’s warmer outside.

 

STRESS, ANYONE?  We are under more stress to get it “all” done.  We have our regular commitments and responsibilities but now we also need to find time to go shopping, make food for and attend the increased gatherings, and ensure we are actively carrying on family traditions.  Stress increases cortisol which can suppress the immune system, increase blood pressure, and increase fat storage.

Recipe for disaster

BUT….

 

Do we need to worry about it?

 

I was actually shocked to find that numerous studies, conducted since 2000, show:

 

Holiday weight gain actually averages 1-2 pounds vice the 5-7 we frequently see reported.  

That said, it’s not all great news.  Even though it’s only 1-2 pounds, we typically don’t shed that extra weight later.  Next year, it’s another 1-2 on top of this, and next year, and next year.  The other thing worth noting is that, while there’s less weight change than many report, there may be increases in body fat.

New Year to Thanksgiving

Asking the right questions:

 

I.  If studies show the average weight gain is 1-2 pounds, why do we hear higher numbers then?  

 

II.  A better question might be:  where are you hearing the higher numbers from?

 

Answer:  Marketing based on fear that YOU will gain 5-7 pounds and you “shouldn’t”.   You’re hearing this stuff from companies that have some type of weight loss or “health related” product to sell you.  Marketing 101.

 

III.  If you do gain a few pounds, is it a “disaster”?  Probably not.  Will you be thrilled?  Maybe not.  Can you mitigate it starting now though moderation?  Probably.  Can you change it later though consistent application of reasonable nutrition and exercise habits?  Probably so.

 

Calling it a d.i.s.a.s.t.e.r. might be a tiny bit melodramatic.    

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The holidays are times when most of us get to see family and friends we don’t see all the time.  We take more time to relax, chat, talk, and laugh.  These are all fantastic things!

The holidays are not something we should try to “survive”.

 

*****

Be sure to check in for Part II tomorrow.

That will cover my top 12 suggestions for enjoying the holidays without just surviving them.

Nov 20

No, I’m Not a Jerk But Pay Attention Please

Family & F.I.T.  |  Debbie Hatch

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As I write this, I feel a strong need to defend myself.  I’m not posting this to be a jerk.

I’m not posting this because I’m judging my seat mate.

Truly.  I’m not.  I’m posting this because you’ve asked for my help.

 

 

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I’ve said a million times – and I’ll say it again here – just to be clear:

==> I don’t care what you weigh.

==> I don’t care about the size of your pants (or skirt).

==> I don’t believe in diets.  I’ve tried them all.  They don’t work and the rebound of having been on a diet typically leaves a person heavier and more unhappier than they were to start with.

 

 

 

I’m posting this because I do care about the fact that it bothers you.

I’m posting this because we frequently wonder why we’re gaining weight (or inches).  We wonder why we can’t lose.

I’m posting this because we get frustrated and give up on ourselves.

 

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Maybe all we need to do is pay a little more attention.

The word “mindful” has been over-used and over-rated.  We’ve learned to tune it out.

We need to tune it in.

 

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We’re two and a half hours into a four and a half hour flight this morning.  My seatmate, so far, has had two Cokes, a couple packages of peanuts, some cheese crackers, and cookies.

 

 

 

 

Is she eating because she loves these things?

Is she eating because she’s really hungry?

I’ll be you $100 the answer to both questions is, “no”.

 

Yet, she’s consumed 600 calories, 26 grams of fat, 88 carbohydrates, and 755 mg sodium merely because the food is here.  Merely because there is someone walking down the aisle asking, “do you want a snack?”

Am I getting into her business?  Nope!

Am I telling her she shouldn’t eat these things?  Certainly not!

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Who doesn’t like to take advantage of free snacks? …

 

… In truth, they don’t even have to be free.

 

We do the same thing at home.  I’m mean, we’ve all been there at some point haven’t we?  I have!!

We’ll eat the entire bag of chips, the whole box of cookies, all the crackers (NONE of these foods are bad!!!!) merely because they’re there.

 

We need to find a way to stop this.

We need to become more aware.

Oh, dare I say, “more mindful” if we truly desire change.

It’s hard!

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It’s easier than we make it.

 

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Eat your meals.  Try to cut back on snacks.

Drink some water.  Try to cut back on other things.

Incorporate a few more veggies into your day.  Try to cut back on starchy carbs if you don’t have a lot of activity scheduled.

Rather than eating directly out of the package, measure out one serving.  Try not to go back for seconds.

Eat when you’re hungry.  Try not to eat when you’re just upset, thirsty, or bored.

 

 

Let me know how I can help.

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