Blog Archives

Archive for October, 2012

Are You Eating on Auto Pilot?

Posted on: October 30th, 2012 by Sandra O'Hagan No Comments

Typically people do not eat just because they are hungry.  We all are guilty of emotional eating or mindless snacking.  This can result in serious weight gain over time.  As we age it is even tougher to lose weight especially without exercise.  While exercise is a very important part of wellness and weight loss, mindful eating can be the key to the weight loss battle.  3500 excess calories creates a pound of weight gain.  By reducing your caloric intake by about 125 calories per day you could lose one pound per month.  This does not sound like much but imagine losing 12 pounds in 1 year.  That is an entire pant size!

Check out how easy it is to create mindful eating habits:

  • Plan your meals – I do not promote “diets” but meal planning is the single biggest predictor of weight loss and maintenance success so always knowing what your next meal/snack is eliminates the opportunity to derail
  • Eat 6 small (planned) meals a day and never wait until you are hungry to eat
  • Eat within approximately 1 hour of getting out of bed in the morning to kick start your metabolism
  • Eat mindfully – be aware of every bite focusing on the flavour, texture and enjoyment of the food 
  • Eat slower – put down your fork between bites and cut your food into smaller pieces
  • Eat meals from a smaller plate or bowl
  • Measure, measure, measure – use a scale for meat and fish and use measuring scoops for vegetables, rice and potatoes
  • When putting food on your plate, make sure nothing touches as this will ensure your portions are kept in check
  • Serve your food from the stove or counter rather then on the table where you will be tempted to have seconds
  • Avoid taste testing or sampling food prior to sitting down to eat as you can eat many excess calories without realizing it
  • Drink plenty of water – not only is water essential to brain function and a host of other benefits, it is also helpful in making us feel less hungry  if you drink a glass about 30 minutes before a meal

There are dozens of things you could do to cut 125 calories from your day.  Please share your mindful eating tips in the comments section below.

Are you an emotional eater?  SO Full of LIFE Fitness is excited to present Renate Donnovan, Personal Coach and Counselling Hypnotist on Thursday November 15, 2012 7-9 PM for a workshop on how to use your unconscious mind to shut off your fat storing programs and turn on your fat burning programs. Cost is $15 per person.  Please register in advance with Sandra at or call 226-749-0000 for more information.


Workout at home? How convenient…or is it?

Posted on: October 2nd, 2012 by Sandra O'Hagan 1 Comment

Thinking about setting up a home gym or buying a piece of cardio equipment to decorate your home?

Before making the investment please read and take a moment to consider your needs, desires and commitment level first.

My apologies to my friends at HomeFIT as they sell great products and I own many of them so I will afford them this plug before I proceed because if you still want great fitness equipment after this read…they will look after you.

For many (most) people, their treadmill has become a dust collector and their stationary bike a great clothes hanger.  Not to mention gym equipment does not really enhance the decor in your family room or bedroom and that treadmill in the ensuite is kind of like the elephant in the room (you know who you are).

While the thought of joining a gym may make you break into a cold sweat and your heart race (not from a workout) it is really worth some consideration.

We are well intentioned in the buying phase of the home gym but there is a tendency to lose focus, get bored and; if you do use the equipment; frustrated with lack of progress over time.

Consider what your goal is before making a purchase;

  • Do you want to get fit and healthy?
  • Do you want to lose weight?
  • Do you want to make continual progress with changes to your body?

If you have any or all of those goals, one piece of cardio equipment will not get you there.  You can purchase the gym with all the pulleys and weight stacks but are you going to know what to do once you have it nicely installed in your recreation room?  Better yet, are you going to use it consistently and know when to amp up and make changes to your program?

Your body becomes conditioned over time if you do the same workout over and over and your progress will stall and you will quite likely lose interest.  From an overall health perspective, it is better then nothing but again, in order to see progressive gains, you must vary your program.

Let’s look at the benefits of joining a gym;

  • Many choices of equipment and classes so less opportunity for boredom and plateauing (ONLY if you keep making changes)
  • Equipment is clearly marked with pictures and instructions showing what muscles it works (when used properly) and how to use it making it easy to know what to do
  • Equipment is laid out for beginners and you get an orientation session so you know which equipment to use and what order (do this only for the first few workouts before changing it up)
  • Great energy and vibe in the gym that will keep you motivated (just get there!)
  • Variety of classes (jump, kick, pump weights, dance and SWEAT)
  • Great hours (get up an hour earlier and hit the gym before your day loses control)
  • Some great scenery (you all know what I’m talking about)
  • Get new workout ideas (imitation is the greatest form of flattery so look around and get ideas…just be discreet please)
  • Silently compete with others to bump up your program (you cannot walk at a 3 mph pace on the treadmill when the 80 year old next to you is hoofing it at 5 mph)
  • Camaraderie – get to know people and say hello, nod or just smile…it will be reciprocated

The down side can be;

  • Intimidating (only if you think someone is watching you but rest assured, everyone is too busy watching themselves in the mirrors)
  • Busy at peak times of day (try off peak 5AM 8PM)
  • Sometimes equipment not available (always have a plan B before you go so you do not lose your mojo if equipment is in use)
  • Classes can be crowded (go early and pick your real estate)

Before you consider a big ticket item like a treadmill, elliptical, stationary bike or full home gym…consider a commitment to a gym or class until the habit has been formed and if you believe you really will take full advantage of your own equipment and get the best results by changing up your program, by all means, go shopping.

Bear in mind, if you are going to spend $1500 – $3000 on a piece of equipment you could go to the gym for approximately 3 – 5 years before spending that much money and by then you will be hooked – guaranteed!

If having your own home gym or going to a club are NOT even remotely enticing but getting in optimum shape is…consider the services of a PERSONAL TRAINER in a fantastic PRIVATE STUDIO….yet another shameless plug.

Remember, you only have one life to live; make it SO Full of LIFE!