Sunday, March 31, 2013

It's not about Peeps and ham

Happy Easter!  No matter what our religious faith, we all look forward to Easter as major road sign of optimism: renewed life and renewed hopes.  Spring.  Clean, fresh starts.  Open the windows. Pack up the bulky winter clothes.  Look forward to feeling the warmth of the sun on bare skin.

Yet the "Easter Candy Clearance" aisles at Walmart beckon us to stock up.  After all, it's stupid to not buy good chocolate bunnies when they're half-price, right?  And jelly beans are good to have "on hand" all year long.....

STOP!!  Remember what Easter represents!  It's not about eating, nor is it about perpetuating bad habits, or wasting money on things that are downright BAD for us.

Easter is about honoring life, not shortening it.  Whether you're pigging out on ham and hot cross buns or cramming Cadbury Creme Eggs into your mouth like there's no tomorrow (and there is, you know!) stuffing massive amounts of seasonal junk down your throat does not honor life--especially not your own.

Tomorrow when you're out shopping, hold your head high and stride right past all that clearance-priced Easter candy.  It's crap.  It's poison.  It will mess you up.  Breathe deeply and feel your strength.  Use that strength to be the person you want to be.  This is a season of new beginnings!
For $2.99, start your new beginning today.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Tally Ho!

Learn to count calories in your head.  Keep an approximate tally running all day long.  Some people write it all down; others use electronic monitors to record their caloric intake; still others enter all their food information into a computer program.  But keeping a tally in your head will teach you to become more aware, on a subconscious level, of how much you're eating.  It will also keep you from caving in for an entire day, just because you may have a few bad moments.  Example:  you just inhaled three homemade cookies while they were cooling on the rack.  Do not kill yourself, and do not throw in the towel on the rest of the day's calorie counting.  You probably consumed 450 calories.  That's not going to blimp you out overnight.  It simply means you can eat 450 fewer calories for the remainder of the day.

Do not attempt to "work off" those 450 bad calories!  Do you usual workout, but just chalk up the 450 calories to part of your daily total and call it good.  To burn off the calories in those three cookies, you'd have to strenuously work out for an hour or more.   There's nothing wrong with that if your body is conditioned for it, but it's not a good plan for burning off a binge.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

To eat or not to eat...

It's 11:30 a.m and the office gang just brought in a cake to celebrate someone's birthday.  Should you have a piece?

NO!!  Have coffee if that's offered, but turn down the gooey cake.  The birthday person won't be offended.  It will mean more for the others, or more for her to take home.

It's 3 p.m.  You had a light lunch at noon, and this evening you have Zumba class at the health club before you go home.

YES!!  Keep up your blood sugar by choosing something healthful (not processed) that's under 200 calories.  Fruit, yogurt and rice products all work well.  So do hard-boiled eggs.  Do not let yourself crash.

It's 5:30 p.m. on Friday.  The gang is going out for Happy Hour and half-price appetizers.  Should you eat some?

DEPENDS.  If you're going to drink modestly, it's a good idea to eat something...but not greasy buffalo wings and egg rolls.  Opt for a fresh veggie platter.  You'll discover that munching on celery while sipping chardonnay with your best buddies can be every bit as fun as mindlessly eating tortilla chips and guzzling sugary margaritas. For what you'll save in margarita and chips calories, you can even have a second glass of wine!

It's 10 p.m.  You've just caught up on your evening email.  You're tired.  You're also hungry; you had a light dinner around 5:00.  Should you eat something before you turn in?

NO!!!  You're tired and you're certainly not starving (you just ate five hours ago and have an abundant supply of reserve fuel on your body).  Just go to bed.  Your body needs rest, not food.

Do what I did.  Lost 40 pounds, shrink yourself for good, and start living life.  You have nothing to lose but $2.99 (for my book) and your extra weight.  I'm just like you.  I did it; you can too.   Go here:
--Jan Manning

Monday, March 25, 2013

Live for the moment--the next moment

You felt so good, so relieved, so carefree, and so caught up in the present that you decided to overindulge on food and alcohol  to make it even better.  Life's just too damn short to deny ourselves such simple and sublime pleasures, right?  Go ahead and have one more margarita, and throw down some tortillas and guacamole while you're at it.  What the heck!  You only live once, and right now is all that counts, right?

Wrong.  Living for the moment may sound good if you're an old hippie, but this mindset has consequences.  EVERY SINGLE THING YOU DO in any single moment has consequences--sometimes good, sometimes not.  Spend one moment eating too much, and you'll spend the next moment regretting it.

There's nothing wrong with fully enjoying life in the present.  Just think at least one moment ahead.  You do, after all, have an obligation to live as healthy and productive a life as possible, and that requires some advance planning.  So keep your sight focused in front of you to the future, rather than blindly turning it inward to the present.  All of your actions have consequences.   Is eating half a pineapple upside-down cake really worth the far-reaching price you will pay?

Next time you're tempted to throw caution to the wind and "eat for the moment," remember the moments that will inevitably follow close behind. If you truly want to celebrate something special, celebrate staying the course during times of temptation.  You will always be so glad that you did!

Saturday, March 23, 2013

What's in my fridge

Back in the days of diets (ugh!), my refrigerator and cupboards were bare, except for the "diet foods."  It was awful.  A houseful of cottage cheese, canned tuna and kale just didn't cut it when I was craving kettle chips.  Yet I figured it was better to not have the evil edibles in my presence, so I wouldn't be tempted.

When I finally got skinny my own way (NOT by dieting, but by following Bucket List Weight Loss), my fridge is always full of good stuff that I can--and want--to eat any time I get hungry.   Now, you might not like what I have on hand--and it's not necessary, because when you do Bucket List Weight Loss, you'll come up with your own list.  But here's what awaits me next time my stomach says, "I think I need some fuel."

  • Greek yogurt, plain, nonfat (to which I might add some sweetener and/or blueberries)
  • brown rice
  • cooked chicken
  • hard-boiled eggs
  • grapes
  • almond milk (great in coffee!)
  • grapefruit (got it from the 4-H kids, otherwise wouldn't be there)
  • lean pork, cooked in the crockpot yesterday
  • edamame in the freezer
  • fresh lemons for hot lemon-water tea
  • hummus
  • spinach
It may not be an impressive list, but I love the flavors and textures of all these things (sometimes all mixed together with some creative seasonings).

Make your own list by discovering which foods your body likes--they should be easy to digest, filling, satisfying in texture, and pleasing in taste.  No processed foods.  Nothing that comes with sugar and salt added. (Do you own seasoning.) You will happily discover your appetite decreases, your cravings go south, and your fat starts to melt.  And you'll no longer be searching for a bag of Doritos to get you through the day.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

FREE books to blog subscribers!

We're giving free copies of the e-book, Bucket List Weight Loss, to the next 10 people who sign up to follow this blog by email.  Just click the box to the right that says FOLLOW BY EMAIL.  Do it now, as this promotion will probably max out by tomorrow (March 22).

Subscribers will get posts delivered directly to their email boxes, so you won't have to hunt around for the blog to enjoy your daily dose of inspiration and weight-loss wisdom.

So get clickin'!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

What did you eat four hours ago?

Gut check time.
  • How does your digestive system feel right now?  
  • Got gas?
  • Got "hunger pangs"?
  • Constipated?
  • Quiet and comfortable?

Okay.  Now think about what you ate four hours ago.  Even if you had a snack twenty minutes ago, think first about what you ate four hours back.  How would you describe it?  Fibrous vegetable?  Starchy white food?  Sweet?  Protein-rich?

Now name the specific food:  Broccoli?  Baked potato with skin?  Chocolate cake?  Chicken?

The way your gut feels right now is largely the result of what you ate four hours ago.  Any food you've put into it since then has probably intensified the feeling of what already started.

If your gut feels good, then the food you ate four hours ago is okay for you.  If it doesn't feel that great, think about eliminating that food for a few days.  Then eat it again....the same amount...and see if you get the same reaction.  If you do, stop eating it.  Your system can't handle it, and it doesn't need it.  For example, not everyone does well on superfoods like oatmeal and sweet potatoes.  You can always reap those same nutritional benefits from other sources.

The result of eliminating the troublesome food item:  your cravings will stop, you'll have more energy, your appetite will diminish and you will lose weight.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

How much would you pay?

There's a woman in New York who charges $10,000 to help women lose weight.  That covers 10 visits from her.  And people are paying it.

There's a raspberry potion for weight loss being marketed on TV now that sells for around $60 for a tiny vial.  It's supposed to miraculously speed up your metabolism.  And people are buying it.

The New Yorkers will pay the money, lose some weight, and then gain it back with interest.

The people taking raspberry drops are trying to trick nature.  It won't work.  If they do lose any weight, they'll gain it back with interest.

LOSING WEIGHT PERMANENTLY COSTS NOTHING!!!!!!  There are NO gimmicks or quick fixes!!!!  If you want to lose and keep it off, you MUST change the way you think about food and eating.

My e-book, Bucket List Weight Loss, costs a whopping $2.99 and is worth far more than the New York program, because IT WORKS!  I am the proof!!  I'm not special.  I'm just like you.  I did it, using 11 concepts that basically cost me nothing.  And I have utter and complete confidence that I will never gain back the 40 pounds I have lost!  That peace of mind is invaluable!

Please don't waste vast amounts of money on false hopes.  Save it instead for the new, smaller clothes you'll need after reading Bucket List Weight Loss for $2.99.

Available on

Saturday, March 16, 2013

What to do with tempting leftovers

So you splurged.  Made a cake and ate too much of it.  Now you're suffering remorse and you have some left.  You know if you keep it around, it'll end up in your stomach, and then on your butt.  What to do?

Assuming you don't have a skinny family member or a nice neighbor you can give it to immediately, you can freeze it or throw it away.

Freezing works sometimes.  But it's still there, luring you.  Besides, we've all discovered that frozen cake can be just as satisfying as warm cake, right?

We could throw it away in the heat of good intention.  But we've all been known to retrieve such goodies from the garbage too, right?

Here's a better option:  wreck it.  Run water on it, throw other plate scrapings on top of it, pour bacon grease on it.  Ruin it first....then throw it away.  The finality of it will feel good to your brain.  It will no longer hauntingly call your name from the garbage can.

Act quickly and decisively.  And remember: it would have been garbage to your system anyway.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Go to bed hungry

"No one should go to bed hungry."  Our benevolent society indoctrinates us with this adage.  Unfortunately, a lot of overweight people find it convenient to take it literally.  This emotion-invoking phrase is supposed to be symbolic.  It means we should all be committed to fighting true hunger, starvation, malnutrition and extreme poverty in the world.

It does NOT mean we can't put on clean PJs and crawl into our cozy beds if our stomachs are growling because they haven't been fed for a few hours.

You are not going to die of starvation in your sleep if you're experiencing "hunger pangs" at bedtime.  You won't wake up sick and weak.  These hunger pangs won't even keep you awake all night as you may fear.

You will fall asleep.  You will wake up clear-headed, without any immediate sensation of hunger.  As you swing your legs to the floor, you will notice you have more energy than usual.  Then you'll remember that you got through the night without kitchen raids, that you went to bed hungry, and that you actually slept quite soundly.

That's a much better way to start your day, physically and mentally, than thinking "Ugh, I can't believe I ate a dozen cookies before bed last night."  Starting your day with uplifted spirits will help you sustain that "high" throughout the day.  You might just find yourself consciously eating less tonight, just so you can experience that same "high" again tomorrow.

And just wait till you step on the scale!

Go to bed hungry.  Just try it.  "Skinnier" is a great way to end one day and start the next.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Your goal is entirely attainable.

You don't think so?  What makes you so special?

Monday, March 11, 2013

The end of cravings!

Cravings have little to do with hunger, and yet they have everything to do with inappropriate eating and weight gain.

I remember sitting at a desk job and not being able to function because all I could think about was escaping to Safeway and buying some apple fritters at the bakery counter.

I remember looking forward to driving to work so I could gorge myself on Hot Tamales candy on the way.

Yes, I remember those awkward moments...but I can't remember the last time I truly craved any food.  My cravings are history.  How did I get so lucky?  I stopped eating a few foods that disagreed with my digestive system.  The cravings stopped cold.  My appetite diminished, and I lost weight without even trying.

The same thing may happen to you, as you start to identify "problem foods" that set off chain reactions of indigestion, blood sugar spikes and crashes, growling stomach and cravings for bad things like cookies, candy and chips.

Cravings, it seems, are a bad reaction to foods that aren't kind to your system.  Identify those trigger foods, eliminate them, and your cravings will stop. 

You can read more about it in Bucket List Weight Loss, an e-book available on

Sunday, March 10, 2013

"It wasn't even that good"

You've said this, haven't you?  You've muttered it to yourself in disbelief and self-loathing after you indulged in some high-calorie junk food for absolutely no good reason.

"It wasn't even that good" is a hind-sight mantra worth repeating.  Next time you're tempted to throw common sense to the wind and eat two Hershey bars in one sitting, remember those words.  Remind yourself of the remorse and physical discomfort you felt after your last overindulgence, and you will be better equipped to resist inappropriate eating.

A Hershey bar, a bowl of ice cream, or a third slice of pizza is not going to make your life better, richer or happier.  It didn't work last time you tried it, right?  And besides,
 "it wasn't even that good!"

Friday, March 8, 2013

A horribly dirty trick

You've no doubt seen those boxes of snack foods so thoughtfully pre-packaged in 100-calorie servings.  Is this a good thing?  NO!  This is a horrid, dangerous marketing ploy!!

The 100-calorie packages are like the devil luring you down the road to diet hell. They're saying, "It's okay, because we're just 100 calories.  You have portion control with us."  Remember what those 100-calorie packages are made of:  processed sugar, fat, salt, high fructose corn syrup, chemical preservatives, chemical coloring and chemical taste enhancers.

So let's say you indulge in one of those 100-calorie snacks--Oreos, Doritos, peanut butter crackers,--around mid-morning.  The chain reaction that can start in your body is enough to sabotage your entire day of good intentions.  The junk ingredients will spike your blood sugar, which will then crash, and you'll be tempted to self-medicate with more junk.  So you're either going to cave in and grab several more 100-calorie packages, or you face a very depressing rest of the day because you'll be craving more junk food all day like an addict needing another fix.

A drug addict isn't going to discipline herself to a tiny bit of her drug each day.  She'll want--and get--more, one way or another.  If you have such a problem with snack foods that you must discipline yourself to 100-calorie packages, then you shouldn't be messing with them AT ALL.  Avoid the 100-calorie packages as if they're dangerous, addictive drugs...because they are!

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Emergency rations

You're facing a two-hour drive home from wherever, and you don't want to stop to dine.  So you buzz into a gas station market and peruse the shelves for something--anything--that is halfway fit to eat.  You find nothing.  But you're afraid you'll "crash" from hunger on the commute, so you grab some jerky and peanuts.  There go your good intentions for eating "right" today.

A better plan:  pack food you REALLY like wherever you go!  That way you won't face those emergency moments when you're forced to buy the wrong thing at a KwikStop.

Find an insulated lunch bag and keep it stocked with munchies that agree with you.  Stick in some unsalted nuts, fruit (fresh or dried), a stick of cheese, some rice crackers, and maybe even a small tub of Greek yogurt. Add a bottle of water or tea, some sugar free gum, and you've got all the provisions you need to get home, feeling much better than if you ate a king-size bag of Skittles.

When you get home, bring the lunch bag in and stick it right back in the refrigerator so it's ready to be re-stocked for your next road trip.

The right food for you:  Never leave home without it.

If losing weight's on your bucket list, click here:
Bucket List Weight Loss

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

SO many better options!!!!
(Thank you, Costco!)

Old habit:
You're hungry.  You have the munchies.  The most accessible thing at the moment is a bag of Doritos. You grab them, inhale them, and feel "yucky" within 10 minutes after polishing off the bag.

New habit:
You're hungry.  Your stomach tells you it's time for some real food.  If you're at work, you've packed a lunch for just this moment.  If you're home, you graze through the fridge and find...

  • Kirkland-brand zero-fat Greek Yogurt
  • Pita Pal "Texas Caviar" bean salad
  • Almond milk
  • A bag of moist, chewy figs
  • Frozen pineapple, mango and strawberries for smoothies
  • Frozen chicken breasts you can microwave in minutes
  • Frozen edamame you can microwave in minutes
  • Grapes
  • Hummus

You can gorge yourself on all of the above without consuming as many calories as you did in that one bag of grease and chemicals.  The most amazing thing:  they actually taste better than Doritos!!

There's no rational excuse for eating Doritos anymore when there are so many better tasting (and satisfying) foods readily available these days!

The above list is short.  It's simply what I have in MY refrigerator at the moment, and it's all stuff I get at Costco.  None of it's "new," but lots of it is new to me, and I have Costco to thank for "mainstreaming" much of it.

Make a list of delicious and healthful  grab-and-eat foods, and stock your pantry with them.  Throw away the chips to make room for the new and better stuff that we have so readily available to us throughout this country, thanks in part to chains like Costco.

Monday, March 4, 2013

"Good" food shouldn't hurt

No matter how nutritious a food may be, it's not "good" for you if it causes you discomfort after you eat it.  Food that's good for you shouldn't cause you pain.

That's how I started my "Bucket List Weight Loss" journey three years ago.  I wasn't consciously trying to lose 40 pounds.  I simply wanted to feel better, so I started eliminating the foods that caused unpleasant side effects like gas and indigestion.  The list of verboten foods included some of the "best" (according to nutritionists)--things like oatmeal, bananas, sweet potatoes, whole grains, beans, and milk.  I like those foods too, but not enough to put up with the pain they cause my digestive system after I eat them.

As soon as I stopped eating these "pain foods," my appetite diminished, cravings disappeared, and energy level zoomed.  And yes, I lost 40 pounds.

As I wrote in Bucket List Weight Loss, start listening to your gut and tell your mind to shut up.  Like me, you probably have certain foods that produce a bad reaction for you.  Just because a food is touted as "nutritious" doesn't mean it's good for YOUR system.  Eat what your gut (not your head) tells you it wants, and you'll see the weight drop off like magic.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

How I lost 40 pounds

Losing the 40 extra pounds that had plagued me since adolescence is my most life-changing achievement of the last 45 years.  Mind you, I've led a good, productive, rewarding life and I'm proud of my accomplishments.  But shedding the extra pounds was a personally monumental dream-come-true that has redefined what I will do with the rest of my life.

My book, Bucket List Weight Loss, outlines the eleven concepts I used to lose it for good.  Now that they're written down, I find myself referring back to them daily for reminders and inspiration.  Whenever I find myself struggling (and yes, I still do), I glance down that list of eleven concepts and--voila!--there's the common-sense answer to whatever eating dilemma I'm facing that day.  That's how I know the 40 pounds is gone for good; my reminders and inspiration are right there, in the book.

Bucket List Weight Loss in an e-book.  It's a regular, full-length book, but you can only read it on a device like a Kindle, Nook, iPad, or similar tablet....or you can download it right to your computer and read it on the same monitor you're using now.  It's $2.99.  Period.  No doubt it's the least expensive thing on your "bucket list," and perhaps the most important.

To order, click here.

Or here if you have a Nook.

Or here   if you want to read it on your computer.

My "back story" is probably much like yours.  That's why this will work for you!

Friday, March 1, 2013

What the (bleep) happened to us?

Shopping outfit, 1968
Shopping outfit, 2013

Can anyone honestly say the 2013 photo is more appealing?  Which do you find more attractive?  Which would you hire to represent your business?  Which would you rather be?

Yes, the woman in the top photo is a model.  But we WERE thinner in 1968. Fat was kept covered or girdled because it was so undesirable. 

Then along came the "I'm Okay, You're Okay" years, and suddenly judgmentalism became a very bad thing. Our society has suffered because of this.

Don't let a lazy, slovenly society's lack of respect for itself define who YOU are in 2013. Settle for nothing less than the best in life, health, and yourself.  Make changes in your life that create fireworks for others!  Become a role model!  You are as capable as anyone--in fact, more capable than most, because you're already taking the time to read this!