Thursday, January 31, 2013

Happy Birthday!

Happy one-month birthday to this blog!!  I can see by the stats that you're reading it, but there are no stats to show me if it's having the desired effect on you, my readers.  Encouragement, motivation and inspiration are what I want you to get from it.

And what do I want from it?  I want sales of my book, Bucket List Weight Loss, but I want to know people are buying it because someone else told them they should.  Word of mouth is the best advertising, because it's usually heart to heart.  If you read it and liked it, please tell your friends.  Likewise, if you like this blog, please share it with them.   Millions of people need the information and motivation.    Together we can get the information on permanent, healthy weight loss and goal attainment into their hands, thus improving their lives immeasurably.

Motivation.  We all need a continuous supply.  By following the blog, by "liking" the Bucket List Weight Loss Facebook page, and by steering others toward the e-book, you'll keep my batteries charged too...and pretty soon we'll be celebrating the one-year anniversary of this blog....and also celebrating your own Bucket List Weight Loss.  Thank you! (And see you tomorrow!)

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Not all miracles are instant

No matter which approach you take, you will not wake up 40 pounds slimmer tomorrow.

You may, however, wake up one pound slimmer.

It takes 40 of those episodes to lose 40 pounds.  By doing things "naturally" (a la Bucket List Weight Loss), you'll probably lose an average of one pound a week.  That makes it a 40-week project.  That's 10 months.  By November 2013, you should be 40 pounds slimmer.  If you want to remain healthy, and if you want the weight to STAY OFF FOREVER, it will probably take you that long.  After that stretch of time, everything you are doing daily to lose it will become a habit for life.

Shrinking yourself takes time.  You won't see progress every day.  But stay the course.  Even though you sometimes can't see it happening, you'll be melting fat.

Count calories.  Listen to your gut instead of your head.  Weigh daily.  Believe.

Bucket List Weight Loss, an e-book for $2.99, available at and other e-book retailers.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

A different way to "weigh"

Your BMI (Body Mass Index) is another indication of how fat or thin you are.  BMI isn't really a percentage of bodyfat; it's just a number from a formula that uses your height and weight to determine whether you're underweight, normal, overweight or obese.  Here's the BMI scale:
  • Underweight = less than 18.5
  • Normal weight = 18.5–24.9
  • Overweight = 25–29.9
  • Obesity = BMI of 30 or greater
When I weighed 183.6 pounds a couple years ago, my BMI  was around 26. Today, at 143 pounds, my BMI is just over 21.  How do I know that?  My Wii Fit program calculates my body mass each morning, as it measures my weight.  I could also figure it out myself.  Here's the formula:

BMI = ( Weight in Pounds / ( Height in inches x Height in inches ) ) x 703

Try it yourself to find out where you are.  You may be pleasantly surprised (and relieved) to find you're within a normal range, or that you're not as "overweight" as you thought.  With this number in your head, you'll have yet another tool to motivate you toward an even lower BMI.  If you want to see those curvy hip bones, you're aiming for a BMI between 20 and 21.  Now grab your calculator and get started. 

Monday, January 28, 2013

Lose 24 pounds a year by fidgeting!

The studies have already been done.  People who fidget (tap their toes, stretch a lot, do muscle contractions while sitting, pace while on the phone, and do knee bends while brushing their teeth) can easily burn 230 more calories a day than people who just sit still.  That equates to a weight loss of two pounds a month or 24 pounds a year, just by fidgeting!

Your body was designed for movement.  It functions most efficiently (most happily) when it's moving.  So don't just sit there.  Start fidgeting.  It adds up fast!

Lose more weight than you ever dreamed possible.  Read "Bucket List Weight Loss," an e-book by Jan Manning, just $2.99 at all major on-line book dealers.  Here's the Amazon link:  Bucket List Weight Loss.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

What is "lunchtime," anyway?

The concept of eating "three square meals" is largely cultural.  Our society has pattern-trained us to eat eggs in the morning, sandwiches at noon, and meat and potatoes in the evening.

Even though many health professionals recommend eating up to eight small meals a day, we are pressured and programmed by employers and families to eat rather ritualistically at certain times of the day.

Do me a favor.  Next time the lunch bell rings, whether at home or at the office, ask your stomach first if it's even hungry.  It will probably say yes, it's ready to accept a little food.  Maybe a hard-boiled egg.  Maybe an apple.  Definitely a few swigs of water.  But ask you gut if it wants a turkey, bacon and cheese sandwich, with a side of fries.  It will probably grumble back at you: "Not 'no,' but 'hell no!!'"  Oh, your mind can see it, smell it and taste it already.  Your mind wants it!  But your mind and your stomach are two very different entities.  And your stomach actually knows what's best for it...and the rest of your body machine.

Lunchtime in the breakroom
Opt for the egg (or some other comparable "real" food) and you'll feel tons better than if you ate the half-pound of grease, salt, starch and sweets that comprise typical lunches.  Eat when you are hungry, and not before.  You'll probably find yourself spending your "lunch hour" out shopping the sales on smaller-size clothing!

Saturday, January 26, 2013

"Angry/skinny" beats "angry/fat"

You're angry?  Depressed?  Go ahead and feel that way; sometimes it's unavoidable.

Just don't self-medicate your pain with food and alcohol binges.  They'll just make it worse, because tomorrow you'll wake up fatter, and with a headache to boot.  Now that's depressing!

Stay a little hungry, out of sheer defiance to your emotions. You may still be depressed and angry tomorrow....but at least you'll be thinner. That's a very positive step toward emotional control and higher self esteem, which is what you need most at times like these.

I'll take "angry/depressed and thinner" over "angry/depressed and fatter" any day.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Eeek!! Hip bones!!

I remember the first time I ever felt my hip bones.  I was in the shower.  I happened to glance down toward my big fat hips and realized they weren't there anymore.  There were these gracefully curved, firm protrusions where fat used to be.  My hip bones!

That's when it hit me.  I had accomplished something utterly amazing.  I had helped my body melt off the fat that had been disguising it.  Not only could I feel my hip bones, but I could also finally see the muscle definition in my legs that had been hidden under the blubber.  It was wonderful, after 50+ years, to finally see a beautiful symmetry in muscle and bone that strung me together.

If you're in the process of "melting," be prepared to see dramatic, positive changes where you least expected them. Your hip bones are there, waiting to be discovered.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Best medicine for nighttime hunger

It's 10 p.m. and you don't feel good.  Well, actually you're fine...but your stomach is growling because it hasn't been fed for three whole hours.  So we'll agree; you really don't feel "good."

Okay, what do you usually do when you feel ill?  You go to bed.  What happens next?  Well....usually you fall asleep...and wake up in the morning feeling better.

So go ahead, baby yourself a bit. Do what Mommy would have done if you'd complained of a tummy ache. PUT YOURSELF TO BED. You'll feel instantly better when you stretch out under the comforter.  You'll relax.  You'll go to sleep and wake up feeling so-o-o-o much better than if you'd stuffed food down your throat before turning out the lights.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

It. Starts. Here.

Maintain a sense of humor.  It's just a mechanical device.  It's not judging you.  It may not even be accurate, so don't take it too seriously.

Just step on.

If the number seems high, it might be because you drank all that water before bed last night and it hasn't come out yet.  It'll probably be down tomorrow.  No big deal.

If the number is low because you had the flu for the past two days, that's okay...but remember it's likely to be up several pounds as soon as you get rehydrated.

Higher or lower than expected, it's the reality of today.  It will be different tomorrow.  More accurate.  Or less accurate, who knows!  But it will give you a start.  If you thought you weighed 165 and you find out it's 185, that's actually a good thing.  Now you know, and now you start making changes!  If you thought you were 172 and the scale says 167, that's a big relief!  You see, either way you win!  High or low, you have stepped on and set the trip odometer for the journey that lies ahead.

Bucket List Weight Loss addresses the issues of "scale phobia" and will help you learn to deal with the scale as a constant in your life.  This e-book is just $2.99.  Available for instant delivery from all major e-book retailers to your reading device or your computer screen.

Now, let's get started.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

No more cravings!

Cravings generally signify a dietary deficiency or a physiological response to something in our lives.  They're not necessarily related to hunger.

I no longer crave anything.  It's being freed from prison!!  My old cravings for cookies, chips and candy dried up as soon as I started trying to keep my gut happy instead of my head.  By eliminating the potatoes, wheat products, oatmeal, nuts, most dairy, and certain fruits and vegetables, I stopped the cravings.  Apparently something in those foods was triggering cravings for really nasty carbohydrates.  I don't quite understand it, but I certainly accept it.

In no way am I suggesting you should eliminate these nutritious foods from your diet!  After all, they're supposed to be "good for you."  They just weren't good for my system.  You may have your own list of "trigger foods"--items that start negative chain reactions in your body If you ever suffer from cravings, intestinal gas, migraines, stomach upsets, or extreme lethargy after eating, you might be triggering some of these symptoms by eating quality foods (or a combination of them) that your system doesn't like.  Eliminate them for a while and you just might discover that
  • Your cravings are gone
  • Your appetite has decreased
  • You feel better and have more energy
  • You're losing weight without even trying
Read more about this in Bucket List Weight Loss, available for $2.99 as an e-book, at

Monday, January 21, 2013

Stop dumbing down your goals!

Society is pressuring you to lower your standards in every capacity of your life. It's bad to make a lot of money by working harder than others.  It's bad for school kids to want to win soccer games.  It's not fair that some people succeed in life while others do not.  The result: society "dumbs down" success to make everyone feel better.

They're doing this with your weight too.  They're telling you it's okay to be "a little heavy," that plumpness is attractive, that it's better to have "a little extra in case of emergencies." (Note: "a little" is a relative and evolving term!)

Don't you see what's happening?  Incrementally, society is dumbing down your goals and aspirations, and rationalizing it with political correctness.

Next time you see an "It's okay to be heavy" photo on Facebook, showing a beautiful, sexy, overweight woman, remember this:
  • The cellulite and stretch marks have been airbrushed out of the picture.
  • The woman's joints are straining under the burden of the extra weight.
  • While she may not admit it, she'd probably still rather be thin.

Stand up for yourself.  Set your standards above everyone else's.  Settle for nothing less than your greatest goals, because they're just waiting for you to attain them!  (But they won't wait forever....)

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Here's how we look "naked"

Take a good look at these two skeletal images.  The bone structure is the same on both women.  Both have a Size 6 bone structure.

The big woman on the right has a Size 6 frame!  The extra 40 pounds of fat just covers it up.

Even if you're a Size 18 right now, you probably have a size 6 frame (or smaller)!!

Next time you think you're destined to be "big" all your life because of "bone structure" or "genetics," remember these two images.  If you're a Size 18 now, know that there is a Size 6 inside you.  Shed the fat, and let your body be (and function) as it was designed by nature.Your wildest dream of permanent weight loss truly is within your grasp.  Go the distance and be done with it!

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Trust your gut

Your mind is the greatest saboteur of good intentions when it comes to eating.  Ironic, isn't it?  We're supposed to be intelligent beings.  Yet animals do a better job of regulating their eating and digestive systems than we do.

They do it by not "overthinking" food.  In the summer, when my horses are on pasture and need food, they find it and eat.  If their bodies don't need food, they doze.  They don't obsess about their weight, and they probably don't stand around thinking about grain all day.  What a contrast to humans!  We fret over our weight, while obsessing about the pan of leftover Christmas fudge in the refrigerator.

Next time you're craving that fudge, consult your gut about it.  How would your gut feel about those brown globs of refined sugary goo cascading down your esophagus and landing with a thud?  Your stomach will scream, "No, no, please, not that!!"  Respect it.  Your stomach works tirelessly (and thanklessly) for you, 24/7.  Show it some respect.  If your gut says it doesn't want to have to process that junk, trust its judgment.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Stop wilting

Ever noticed how a house plant goes all limp and droopy when it needs water?  You think, "Oh no, I forgot to water it, and now it's dying."  So, with remorse, you give it a good drink, hoping it's not too late.  Within moments, it perks right back up and looks greenhouse healthy again.

Your body begins to wilt without sufficient water too.  Thirst isn't your only indication you need more H2O.  If you've ever had muscle cramps, physical or mental fatigue, headaches, the shakes, hot flashes, chills, aching joints or crabbiness, those symptoms just might be related to dehydration.  At the very least, they could be minimized by drinking sufficient water.  Take a few swigs of fresh, clear water right now and you'll feel your own limbs, leaves and buds cooling and relaxing as they rehydrate.  Water is the all-time greatest wonder-beverage!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

The best reason

Wearing a Size 6 honestly wasn't my motivation for making the Bucket List Weight Loss journey.  I started changing my eating habits because I wanted to feel better, that's all.  I wanted my digestive system to behave, my carbohydrate-induced headaches to stop, and my blood sugar highs and lows to even out.  The weight just happened to melt off as I began respecting my gut's difficulty with certain foods.  When I cut out wheat, oatmeal, most dairy, and other select foods, I immediately felt better. Cravings stopped.  Hunger decreased.  Energy was strong and even.  Bowels were regular.  Since I felt better, I had more energy to exercise; hence, the weight fell off.

Your primary reason for Bucket List Weight Loss should be to feel better.  Ask permission from your stomach before you shove your problem foods into it.  If it says, "You'll regret it in a few hours," don't eat it.  You'll be amazed how quickly you start to feel better than you even dreamed possible.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Thrift store thrills

As you begin losing weight, you're going to need new clothes.  Your best source:  thrift stores!

Today's thrift stores aren't like the seedy, funky-smelling places of yesteryear.  Because we're an opulent society with a throw-away attitude, people just don't hold onto clothing items long enough to wear them out anymore.  Sometimes they'll buy things on sale and let them hang in the closet for two years (with tags still on) until they decide it's time to thin out their racks.  That's when all the good stuff goes to the thrift stores, especially those that support popular charities.

Most of my Size 6 wardrobe is now comprised of upscale thrift store treasures.  This stuff is better quality than I could ever afford--or even find--at Macy's, and it's been well cared for.  A $300 ski suit for $12.  A Harley jacket for $10.  Etienne Agner pants for $5.  Call it guilt-free shopping, and fill your closet with great one-of-a-kind stuff in your new, smaller size.  It's there waiting for you...

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Love your hunger

Mild discomfort from "hunger"  can happen just a few hours after you've eaten something--even Thanksgiving dinner--so you know it's not a signal that your bodies need nourishment!  We've all read about people on "hunger strikes" or folks who've been lost at sea and survived weeks without food intake.

For us who are already too well nourished, the discomfort starts when the hypothalamus releases hormones that target receptors in the liver.  The gut starts grumbling and feeling "acidy."  Nothing wrong here.  It's a natural, benign process, and the discomfort eases, particularly if we drink some water (which your gut really needs and appreciates, by the way, much more than food).

Next time your stomach growls at 11am or 8pm, be happy!   It's a signal that you're getting thinner by the moment.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Hunger at bedtime

Last night when I climbed up the stairs to bed, my gut ("Gut")  felt mildly uncomfortable.  My instinctual first thought:  "Maybe I should put something in it to help settle it."  In a nanosecond, these images flashed through my brain:
  • Tums
  • milk chocolate
  • a cookie
  • a cracker

Fortunately Gut yelled back at me, just as I paused on the stairs, ready to go back to the kitchen.

"No, no, no!!  It's just a little hunger!  I'm fine.  Give me a sip of water and forget about me.  You'll go to sleep soon and wake up refreshed.  The hunger will be gone."

Gut was right.  What I'd been feeling was fine, normal, and did not require "medication" of any kind.  It's morning now, and I feel great.  Sure glad I listened, and told my mind to shut up!

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Strength in four words

"This too shall pass."

It's my favorite quote of all time.

It's gotten me through moments of extreme boredom, longing, grief, and temptation.  The phrase has never failed me.  Everything passes, whether it's pain, bad weather, sadness, cravings, or just time.   Meanwhile, we can make the most of the present moment...or just sit back and wait.  Either way, it'll be gone.  Soon.  Which is sooner than we think.

Hungry?  Bored?  Ready to eat a horse, or maybe just a bag of Doritos?  Say the words again and hear their meaning.  "This too shall pass."  Those four little words will humble, strengthen, and comfort you, all at the same time.  The cravings you feel when you first go off sugar.  The grumbling in your stomach the first night you go to bed hungry.  The longing to dive into a huge pizza just because the rest of the gang is doing just that.

"This too shall pass."

Saturday, January 12, 2013

January clearance sales on-line!  You gotta love 'em!  80% off on Coldwater Creek, Eddie Bauer, Sierra Trading Post, L.L. Bean....  Only one problem: the stuff that's left, by the time you get there, is all XS or S.   Ain't nothin' more exasperating than discovering a great deal on a cute sweater, reading the description, studying the 56 reviews, and then clicking to buy it....only to find out, after all that time spent, it's only available in XS or S.

But now those great deals are all waiting for me, me, me, because I'm an S!

You have a year between now and next January's clearance sales.  Make use of it and start looking forward to all that fun, when you may be an S too.  Think it can't happen?  You're wrong.  It happened to me.  And I am you.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Read the wrapper first!!!  
(a Double Dog Dare)
Next time you're tempted to grab a comfort food off the shelf from your market or pantry, first turn the package over and read the calorie content.  A 14-ounce bag of M&Ms has "just" 210 calories per serving...but the bag contains eight servings.  1,680 calories in the bag.  Know how easy it is to suck down a a 14-ounce bag of M&Ms, one piece at a time, while it's sitting next to your computer?  Sure, it may take you all day, and you feel like you've eaten nothing.  In truth, you've consumed a day and half's worth of calories.  (I strive for 1,100 a day.)  Once you read that calorie content on the package, you'll want to put the whole thing back on the shelf and leave it there!  "NUTRITION FACTS" = REALITY!  Still want to open that bag?

Thursday, January 10, 2013

"Pipe dream" 
  • A fantastic but vain hope. 
  • A vain dream that will never happen, given the harsh reality of life.
  • Synonym for illusion.
  • Example:  "I have this dream of some day being a Size 6."

Whatever your biggest dream...if you ever call it a "pipe dream," you are giving yourself LICENSE TO FAIL.

I used to think that being a Size 6 was a "pipe dream."  I thought my big frame would only get so small--like maybe a nice Size 10--and that's as far as I could go.  Fortunately, I realized I was wrong and easily melted off a few more layers of fat.  Voila!  There was a Size 6 frame lurking under all of it.  My joints thanked me.  They no longer hurt!  Sure, Size 10 may have been "good enough" for today's normally overweight society, but the extra 20 pounds off my joints was the real treat.  Having gone through four total hip replacements already (yup, both hips twice), I am determined to keep my latest set in working order as long as I can!

What was once a "pipe dream" became a if it were meant to be!  Eliminate the pipe dreams from your life, and start making plans instead!