Things I’ve Learned…

by Michelle Acker on March 16, 2011

in Learning the Art of Living

Sugar is everywhere.  If you think not eating cookies and cake, or not adding sugar to your coffee is cutting out sugar, think again.  There is some form of sugar in almost everything.  It’s very difficult to find something on the shelf at the grocery store that doesn’t have added sugar, or corn syrup, or high fructose corn syrup, or some other sweetener.  It’s crazy.  Even a simple can of PLAIN beans has an ingredient list of : Beans, Water, SUGAR.  I was shocked. Now why, I ask you, do they have to do that?  Add to that the white flour that the body converts into sugar, and no wonder we are struggling with obesity in our country!  Try reading the labels for one week.  You will be amazed.

Sugar makes you very hungry.  ALL the time.   This is my week off in between our 4 week long rounds of Game On.  Because it was my birthday, I’m eating more sugar, and a lot MORE in general than I have the last 4 weeks, and I am starving all the time.  When I eat several(5) healthy, smaller meals I eat less and am not hungry.  Go figure.  Not hungry enough that I often don’t even want to eat that last meal!   And I definitely feel better when I’m eating on plan. No heartburn.  No upset stomach.  No sluggish afternoon slump.

Exercise.  Don’t get stuck in a rut.  It’s easy to go to the gym and hop on the elliptical everyday.  You don’t have to think about it.  But it’s good to mix things up.  Try the treadmill or bike instead one day.  Take a new class.  Try the same class you usually do, but with a different instructor.   My friend and I took the same class we’ve been going to with a new instructor last week, and it was a completely different class.   We loved it.  The teachers both rock and are very challenging, but still totally different.  Try mixing things up to keep your brain interested, and also keep your muscles from getting bored with the same old same old.  You’ll get better results physically AND mentally!

Support, Support, Support. You know the saying in real estate that location is everything?  Well, for a healthy lifestyle change,  Support is Everything. Ideally, find friends/family who want to make the same lifestyle changes that you do.  Make a pact to support each other.  Call and chat when you want to eat one of your kid’s cookies at snack time.  Text and say “help!” when you’re tempted to bring home a yummy, delicious loaf of hot french bread right from the oven at the bakery.  Stay in touch every day, and be honest about your struggles.  Struggling doesn’t mean you’re not doing well, it  means you’re human.  And often, your struggles will be something the other person is struggling with too. “Oh, I’m so glad you said that…. I thought I was the only one.”   It’s so much easier to go through things when you’re not alone.   Good support also gives you a much bigger resource as far as recipes, exercises, label reading, and tips on what works and what doesn’t.

Perspective. If you’re going to have a healthy lifestyle, go for it.  Don’t call it a diet, because then you will be thinking about what you can’t have the whole time.  Instead, think of things in a positive light.  Oh, my body is going be so much happier with this apple instead of potato chips (even if my brain isn’t agreeing yet).  Or, I’m going to love seeing the scale this week because of THIS healthy food I’m eating right now.  Like a wise friend of mine said to me, “You don’t have to say no to that food forever… Just no for right this moment. ”   Somehow that makes it so much easier!

Take a Break! Wait, what?  Yes.  I said take a break.  Plan to have a day off each week.  Go all out, 100% the rest of the week, making the best healthy choices you can.  But give yourself a break.  No one can keep doing something 100% of the time without getting burned out.  Plan a break.  That way when you decide to say “not right now” to a yummy food, you know that if you really want it, you can have it on your ‘day off’.    The idea is a healthy lifestyle, not  healthNUT lifestyle.  Everyone deserves a little indulgence once in awhile.   If you have a set day planned for that, it helps keep you on track the rest of the week.  Still having trouble with the idea of a day off?  Look at it this way:  That’s a 6:1 ratio.  6 healthy days to 1 break day.  Not so bad, is it?

What have you learned on your journey for a better, healthier, lifestyle?

I’d love to hear and be able to encourage you… Leave a comment.

Find more encouragement for your healthy lifestyle here:

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Carey March 16, 2011 at 9:52 AM

Wow Michelle! Thanks for the great advice! I had no idea that sugar can be hidden practically everywhere. I will have to pay closer attention to labels, as you suggested. And I love the idea of giving yourself a break once a week. I know it’s easy for us women to get down on ourselves, especially when we slip up. But giving yourself permission to indulge 1 day seems like it’s a great way to keep ourselves balanced and feeling positive. Thanks for the encouragement!

Michelle March 16, 2011 at 2:59 PM

Glad you found the advice helpful! That’s one of the best parts about having support, I think, is getting to learn ‘the easy way’ from someone else’s experiences. Good luck!

Chelle March 16, 2011 at 1:43 PM

Well said Michelle! And, as a trainer, I agree! 🙂

Michelle March 16, 2011 at 3:00 PM


That’s good to know! I am definitely no expert, so I’m glad you agree as a trainer! Thanks for stopping by.

Alicia The Snowflake March 16, 2011 at 2:18 PM

These are some of the things I am learning too. It’s so much easier to lose weight knowing I have the support of others. And who knew about the sugar? It’s unreal! Great post! Thanks for joining Weight Loss Wednesday!

Michelle March 16, 2011 at 3:01 PM

Thanks Alicia, for hosting Weight Loss Wednesday, and encouraging me to share what I’ve learned. I think it’s helpful for me to look back and remember what I’ve learned too!

Good luck this week. Hope it’s easy and successful for you!

karla March 17, 2011 at 8:09 AM

great blog and great advice michelle! very insightful and i agree with every point of course, but even knowing all the best information, i still struggle everyday…and sometimes the struggle wins! But, hopefully, in the long run my steps forward will be larger than my steps back and i will end up ahead in the end! glad to consider you a friend!!

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