Monday, February 25, 2013

Do this....instead of eating that

Life is short.  Instead of wasting precious moments eating something that's not even good for you, do something else.  Live each moment!

In the time it takes you to search the pantry for a snack, you could read a paragraph from a magazine article that could change your life.

In the time it takes you to open a bag of chips, you could do a gentle upper-body stretch,be reminded of the wonderful machine you live in, and thank God for that gift.

In the time it takes you to fix a second cocktail (or the first, for that matter), you could ask your dog to do a trick.

In the time it takes you to eat that cold left-over pizza, you could call a friend who needs to hear an encouraging voice.

You get it.  Moment by moment, you use your time in a way that's more valuable to you...and others.  The moments pass.  Moments of temptation.  Suddenly you're moving on with life instead of stalling out to put something in your mouth.
Recreational Eating

Let's face it, eating is fun.  It's a recreational activity.  Forget triggers, forget stress-related eating, forget hunger.  Sometimes it's just fun to eat a food for the momentary enjoyment we reap.  A certain taste or texture in our mouths can relax us.  Maybe it reminds us of a happy, carefree, comforting time in our lives.

The problem with any recreational activity is that it's often hard to know our limits.  My Lab would chase a ball till he dropped in his tracks.  I've been known to eat candy till I can't see straight (literally).  You've been known to eat a bag of chips in one sitting, and then realize how awful you feel five minutes after the bag is empty.  And then there are those margaritas.....SO good that we suck them down way too fast, one after the other, until....well, you know the rest!

Because time is so precious to us, we tend to look at recreation time as restraint-free moments when we must cram in as much as we can, lest we never get another opportunity.  You probably do the same thing with your recreational eating.  One day you might only have 15 minutes to eat those you bolt them!  Another day you have all afternoon to watch movies, so you keep a slow but steady stream of popcorn flowing.  The bottom line:  eating is not a good form of recreation.  Whether you do it fast or slowly, it'll make you fat.

More fun than eating
Look elsewhere for your fun.  If you need something in your mouth, chew gum.  Floss your teeth.  Drink water.  Stand up and do some stretches or butt squeezes.  Enjoy the present moment. Take some deep breaths.  Better yet, take your dog for a walk.  How many ways can you have fun without eating?  Make a list...and have lots of paper.

Friday, February 22, 2013

What does "good" feel like?

Once you start to feel "good" from eating right, you won't ever want to lose that feeling.  But here's the problem:  a lot of people don't know what "good" is.  Maybe you're one of them.  Can you find yourself on this scale?
  1.  You feel bad.  You're bloated, constipated, or experiencing irritable bowel symptoms, or you just ate too much, or your stomach is gassy. 
  2. You feel functional but internally weighed down.  No energy. Your guts feel heavy and burdensome.  You may feel hungry, but you're also lethargic. 
  3. You feel mild or no hunger, yet your stomach and intestines are relatively empty.  Your head is clear, your guts feel almost weightless, and your lower body feels a lightness that gives you a sensation of floating when you're moving.

Most people hover between #1 and #2 and seldom if ever let themselves reach #3.  When they feel bad, they often self-medicate with more food.  When they're in a #2 state, they feed the hunger and seek energy in the wrong types of food, which can catapult them right back into #1.

To reach #3, you have to listen to your gut and feed it what it wants, when it wants it.  Tell your mind to shut up!  Your mind is what got you in trouble in the first place.  The true expert on what's good for your digestive system is your own body.  When your digestive system is happy--not too full, not too empty, well hydrated, and processing the foods it can handle with ease, you'll know what it's like to truly feel "good."  Keep feeling good, and the extra weight will melt from your body.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

The addict in you

Addiction is the continued use of mood altering substances or behavior despite adverse consequences from such behavior.  Many of us who have battled extra weight can, in our own humble way, relate quite closely to the alcoholic or drug addict.  Our "addictions" are actually more complicated in some ways.  The alcoholic can choose to stay out of bars, but it's hard for a "foodaholic" to avoid exposure to her drug.  Unlike meth, M&Ms are not illegal.  In fact, they're advertised and promoted as a cute, innocent bit of Americana.

Like other addicts, foodaholics experience emotional triggers that set off binges.  Food addicts are just as good at rationalization as any other substance abuser.  ("A little bit won't hurt."  "I deserve it after a hard day."  "I can quit any time I want.")  They feel the same remorse after a bender.  They swear off the forbidden fruit with fervent passion. ("Never again!"  "I can't believe I did that."  "I hate that stuff now!")  Yet, in a nanosecond, that subtle trigger mechanism can wipe out all our good intentions.

Do you like being compared to a meth addict?  Probably not.  But when you realize the power that food has over your brain, you feel a kinship with these toothless, hollow-eyed, ashen-faced, walking skeletons that would literally kill themselves trying to get a fix.

Don't be that person!  Know your triggers, and keep yourself armed against them at all times.  When you hear yourself starting to rationalize a pending behavior you know is destructive, take a step back and change your path.  You are stronger than you think.
Bucket List Weight Loss
By Jan Manning
An e-book for $2.99 & other e-book outlets

Keep moving today

Do you like massages?  Give yourself a long, gentle massage today, from the inside out.  Just keep moving.  Concentrate on slow, gentle movements that feel good.  Roll your shoulders.  Wave your arms across your body.  Let your upper torso slowly sway left and right while you're sitting at your desk. Tense up the muscles in your tush.  Rotate each ankle in circles, and flex your feet forward and back.  Gently reach up with both arms and stretch to where it feels good.

You'll start feeling the warm fuzzies from the inside out.  Now keep that sensation going all day.  It's like riding a bike.  Once you start the motion, you'll want to continue...or you'll fall over.  And that part hurts!

Monday, February 18, 2013

Knees hurt?
Every pound of weight you gain puts THREE extra pounds of stress on your knee joints.  Every pound you gain puts SIX extra pounds of stress on your hips. 

Lose weight now, and your joints will thank you.  You may even be able to avoid hip and knee replacement surgeries.  But even brand new artificial joints won't hold up if you're still carrying too much weight on them.  If you want to be pain-free in your bucket list years, lose the weight now.  Oh, of course you can do it!!
Bucket List Weight Loss tells you how!

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Saturday, February 16, 2013

You lost a pound of this?

You want to shoot yourself.  You've been "good" all week, and you step on the scale, expecting to see a drop of at least four pounds.

You're shocked and dismayed to see what the scale reveals:  you've lost just one measly pound this week.

Okay, before you give up and drown your sorrows in a tub of ice cream, take a look at this:
This disgusting handful is a pound of human fat--lard--rendered from a body during a surgical procedure.  This is what a pound of fat looks like! 

You lost one whole pound of this from your body?  Congratulations!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Your dream-come-true for $2.99

How much have you spent on weight loss over the years?  For me, it started with a box of Ayds diet candy in 1969...followed by an electric belt exerciser, a spa membership, an "Apollo Exerciser," Sauna Pants, and dozens of other devices, drinks, supplements, books and programs for the next 42 years.  All I did was gain weight!

Since I wrote my book, Bucket List Weight Loss, I haven't spent a dime on weight-loss junk.  The method outlined in my book is the method I used to finally get rid of 40 pounds that I know will never come back.  Ironically, there's no cost to my 11-step method.  You already have what it takes to lose all the weight you want and still stay healthy.  And you can start today.

There is one small up-front cost:  $2.99 for the book.  That's it.  No shipping, no tax, no followup sales pitch.  For $2.99 you can realize your wildest weight loss goal.  I encourage you to think beyond your comfort zone.  If you're a Size 12, don't settle for Size 8.  Go for 6.  If you're a Size 22, you can be an 8 and probably a 6.  Don't let anyone tell you otherwise.  The only thing keeping you from it is the fat that covers your Size 6 frame.  I'll help you melt it off, once and for all.

Get the book.  When you order it from the following sources, you can choose whether you want it "delivered" to your Kindle, Nook, iPad, or your computer screen.  Here are the links.  If you have problems or comments, email me.  I'll help you get there.  I did it, and I'm just like you.

Purchase at (for Kindles)
Purchase at Barnes &  (for Nooks)

Purchase at  (to read on your computer screen)

Monday, February 11, 2013

Lunch at the supermarket

You're looking for a sit-down restaurant where you can grab a quick bite to eat without spending a fortune or going off your eating plan.  How about the supermarket down the street?

Fortunately most of today's newer supermarkets provide coffee nooks and comfy, attractive dining spots where you would presumably enjoy some deli food and a latte.  But you don't necessarily have to eat the deli food!  Buy a pint of Greek yogurt, a bag of washed veggies, or a piece of fruit.  Some food markets have fresh salad bars, soup bars and even olive bars.  The in-store bakery may even offer gluten-free goods.  Bring it to the dining area and enjoy a prompt, nutritious lunch at a reasonable price.  No waiting for service, no tipping, no high cost.

Because individual supermarket foods will seem less expensive than restaurant meals, you may be tempted to purchase more food than you need.  Err on the side of "not enough," and you won't feel obligated to pack up (or pack in) your leftovers and carry them home with you.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Splurge on your passion!

"I'd rather ________ than eat!"

Fill in the blank.  Read?  Ride a horse?  Play "Words with Friends"?  Play pickleball?  Sew?  Whatever the activity, it's your passion....particularly if you'd rather do it than eat.

So do it.  Engage in the activity that's so exciting and delightful to you that you'd rather do it than stop to eat, even when you get hungry.  It consumes your mind so totally and happily that you have no time to think about food.

Most of us have such activities in our lives, but we deny ourselves the time to enjoy them, lest we should neglect our routine responsibilities.  But if we deny ourselves too much...if we always choose household obligations over our passions...we'll begin feeling resentful.  Resentment leads to frustration and depression, and that often leads to overindulging in calories from food or alcohol.  We would have been better off to take the time to enjoy our passions instead.

Rediscover your true passions and give yourself permission to indulge in them, just as you may have once indulged in a huge banana split.  Next time you have a moment of willpower weakness, you'll remember that there really are things in your life more pleasurable than  that ice cream calling your name from the freezer.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Sodium:  The saboteur of your weight loss

Ever wake up in the middle of the night with a pasty mouth and an unquenchable thirst?  That's often a reminder you ate something too salty for dinner or right before bed.  That "something" was probably a processed food containing as much as half your recommended sodium intake for the day.  It leaves your cells screaming for water and desperate to retain it, which causes a temporary but unsettling weight gain.

Sodium is, frankly, what makes processed foods so addictive to our taste buds.

Check the foods in your pantry.  I just did.  I discovered two bags of "stuffing mix."  The Western Family brand of stuffing had 10 times more sodium per serving than the Country Hearth brand.  I also compared two boxes of Near East couscous.  The "original plain" couscous had 220 calories and 5 mg sodium per half-cup serving.  The "Mediterranean" variety had fewer calories (190), but a whopping 500 mg sodium....that's 100 times the amount of the plain!  I think I prefer to cook the plain and season it my own way.  A little dash of table salt isn't anywhere near 500 milligrams!

Watch the sodium!  Worry less about salting your food at the table and more about eating packaged, processed foods.  Even if you stay within your calorie range for a day, your weight will likely be higher the next day if you've eaten a bowl of salty soup or chili the night before.  And whether it's "temporary water weight" or not, it's still plain old extra weight on your joints.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

The Miracle Weight Loss Drink

It's cheap.  It's guilt-free, no fat, no sodium, no calories.  It's better for you than any other liquid on the planet.  It fills you up.  It makes your skin glow.  It lubricates your joints. It cools your system.  It clears your head.  It freshens your breath.  It doesn't stain your teeth.  It's your body's favorite beverage choice.  It's the liquid from the fountain of youth.

Water.  Drink as much as you want.  Never mind that a big glass can weigh a pound.  It's a pound that may eventually release another half a pound of stale water and toxins from your body.  So for every pound of water you drink when you are retaining water, you can expect to lose more than that when it all washes out soon after.  It may take a day or a few.  But pumping water into your system is the best thing you can do to get extra water out of your system.

If you're not already in the habit of drinking all the water you can each day, start by finding a water bottle or container you absolutely love.  My favorite is a clear green insulated plastic glass I won at a dog agility trial.  It has a snap-on lid and a rigid plastic straw.  Because the glass is clear, I can see how much water I'm drinking.  That's important.  Because it has a rigid straw, I can mainline that water right down my throat in big, refreshing pulls.

Don't ever let your water container sit empty.  Don't let it remain full for long either.  Every time you get up to go to the bathroom, fill your water bottle at the same time.

Water.  It's not just for goblets anymore

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

November 2012, my 60th birthday
Why it's important that YOU are satisfied

We live in a society that now pressures us to be conform to ever-lowering standards.  Some of it comes from government, some comes from psychologists who want us to believe "everyone is a winner," and some of it comes from friends who'd rather we all stayed  chubby like them.

"Why do you need to lose ten more pounds?" someone will ask.  "You look fine."

That's like asking someone, "Why do you need to have another baby?"   Or, "Why do you you need to have such a fast sports car?"  Or "Why do you you need to own that kind of gun?"  or "Why do you need to make that much money?"

All those questions are answerable, but they don't need lengthy justifications.  Simply saying, "Because I  want to" should  suffice.  Yet the best answer is probably just a polite smile and a change of subject.

Do not let your fire go out, spark by irreplaceable spark. In the hopeless swamps of the not quite, the not yet, and the not at all, do not let the hero in your soul perish and leave only frustration for the life you deserved, but never have been able to reach. The world you desire can be won, it exists, it is real, it is possible, it is yours. --Ayn Rand

Order Bucket List Weight Loss, an e-book, at  Immediate download to your e-reader or computer.  $2.99.

Monday, February 4, 2013

My new hero

Her names is Ernestine ("Ernie") Shepherd.  She lives in Maryland.  She's 76 years old.

When she was 56 years old, she was a sedentary, well padded, school secretary.  She and her sister went bathing suit shopping one day and got inspired to improve their physiques.  Unfortunately, Ernie's sister died of a brain aneurism soon after, but Ernie went on to fulfill the dream for the two of them.
Ernie "changed," all right.  At age 56 she took up weightlifting for the first time, got a personal trainer, shed pounds, gained muscle, and became the world's oldest female champion bodybuilder.  Just a few years ago she took up running.  She's completed eight marathons, and she's still going strong.

What an inspirational figure of grace, femininity, strength and accomplishment!  Read her bio here:
and look forward to hearing more about--and from--Ernie, my new hero and role model!

Sunday, February 3, 2013

It's all relative

One person's "fat" is another person's "skinny."

If you have fifty pounds or more to lose, you probably get a bit miffed when you hear a willowy woman say, "I'm too fat."

Yet everything is relative.  Her reality is not yours.  If she doesn't like her five extra pounds, she has just as much right to be dissatisfied with them as you do with your fifty.  You may think she looks fantastic.  But it's really not what you think that is important to her.  It's what she feels about herself. 

I used to look a bit disdainfully at thin women who complained about being "fat."   Now I can empathize with them. We all still have our secret rolls, pockets and folds of fat we'd like to shed before we cross the finish line.  Why drop out of the race when you can see the checkered flags just ahead of you?  Whether your goal is to reach a certain size, make a million dollars, or sell 10,000 books, stay the course and attain the goals you set for yourself.  Don't sell yourself short in any category.  Expect excellence from yourself, and know you have the power to achieve it.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Why this ad is actually fattening

It sounds so easy and quick.  We see the ad.  We just know it will work for us too.  In fact, if it works that fast and effectively (which we're convinced it will), we might as well put off this diet until tomorrow or the next day.  Once we start it, we'll be ten pounds thinner in ten days.  So what's the rush?  Let's have one more box of cookies before we start the diet.  If we don't quite get started tomorrow, that's probably okay too, because, after all, we'll be down ten pounds in ten days...whenever that starts....

And suddenly it's ten days from when you first saw the ad, and you realize you've not accomplished your weight loss goal because you haven't even started yet.  After's only going to take us ten days, so we might as well put if off for a while longer.

Meanwhile, you're eating in denial, packing on a few more pounds just because you know it will be easy to take them off in just ten days......and on and on you go. You're getting fatter, not thinner.

The ten days must start now...not tomorrow or the next day....not this starts now.  It will take you at least that long to lose ten pounds, and even longer if you expect it to stay off.  Permanent weight loss doesn't happen in fast chunks.  The process of bucket list weight loss is slow, like watching ice cubes melt in a glass of frigid water. 

Got the book?  Download Bucket List Weight Loss today, still just $2.99.  Available at and other on-line book retailers.
The dangerous lag-time syndrome

It's the "lag time" phenomenon of weight gain.  You've experienced it.  You quit weighing yourself for a few days (or weeks), but your clothes still seem to fit the same.  When you finally do weigh yourself, you find out you've gained nine pounds since you last stepped on the scale.  For a few fleeting moments, or even days, you can live in blissful denial again, thinking, "I gained weight but my small clothes still fit me.  Hmmm... Maybe I don't need to be so careful after all."

Then you wash your jeans.  When you put them back on, you find they don't fit like before.  They don't slip on easily like they used to.  The waist is tighter, your thighs are bigger, and the pants are shorter.  You can still wear this size....but not comfortably.  You blame the dryer, until you realize the problem isn't clothing shrinkage.  It's the weight you gained back.  It doesn't show up in your clothing fit right away.  By the time it does, you may be in real trouble.

There's one sure way to prevent this from happening.  Weigh every day.  Same time.  Same clothes.  As soon as you become accountable to yourself via the scale, your urge to eat will decrease, almost like magic.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Today, think ahead four hours....

The very first concept in my book, Bucket List Weight Lossthink ahead to how you'll feel four hours from now if you eat or drink "X."

Got plans for tonight? At 5:00 tonight, when you're tempted to stuff a bowl of goldfish crackers down your throat as you sip your second cocktail before dinner, think about where you'll be at 9:00.  What will you be doing?  Will your 5:00 indulgences get in the way?  Will you feel sexy, relaxed and celebratory if your stomach is bloated because you ate or drank too much of the wrong thing four hours earlier?

Plan ahead when you're eating.  You'll have a better time later if you do.

Bucket List Weight Loss, an e-book.  $2.99.