Monthly Archives: May 2012

Tell Me I Can’t

Doesn’t she epitomize Claiming Your Power? I found it here:

Tell me I can’t and I’ll work harder to prove that I can. It’s just who I am. I’ve found a way to put that rebellious streak to good use: When a food calls to me, candy or potato chips, and I give in and eat too much, I buy another one and put it on the table where I’ll see it all day, every day. Every time I walk through my house I see it and each time I give it the old evil eye and say, “YOU will not win this battle … I will!”

It works. I’ve found that I do better when I know the enemy and I look it right in the eye. I like having it where I can see it because there’s little chance of it sneaking up and surprising me. Some examples from over the years:

  • I hung a Dunkin Donut on a pushpin in my studio in the 80’s. I labeled it the ‘First Donut I Didn’t Eat.’ When I left that job two years later the donut was still on the pushpin looking exactly as it had the day I put it up there. Yuck!
  • I quit smoking, a two-pack-a-day habit, cold turkey, with a carton of cigarettes on the passenger seat of my car. Totally successful. Fourteen years smoke-free!
  • I bought Easter candy on sale, ate several pieces while in a total fog, came out of it and put the rest in a candy dish on my dining room table … dusty now!

I stared the enemy right in the eye and claimed my power! Exhilarating!

(As an aside, I can’t tell you I’d be able to walk by my Mom’s Fried Chicken but since I’m the only one who makes it anymore I’m pretty safe … from buying pastured chicken to preparing it is a long time to get over a craving. Occasionally I go through the process and it tastes a little bit like heaven!)

The moral of the story? Know your enemy; Find your fighter’s stance; Claim your power!

It’s important to learn the difference between foods you love and foods that trigger actual binges. You win against food addictions one battle at a time. As you learn and eliminate the foods that trigger binges and cravings the enemy army becomes smaller and weaker while you become stronger both physically and psychologically.

Once you know the enemy you can make conscious choices to eat the foods you love. I find that just knowing a specific food has the capacity to cause massive cravings keeps me clear of it 99% of the time. I also know that when I choose to eat it I need to be on top of my game to prevent a landslide of unhealthy eating.

If you have trouble finding your fighter’s stance or discerning the difference between trigger foods and foods you love, consider hiring a Certified Health Coach. I respect each individual as uniquely designed and recognize that what works for one person isn’t necessarily the answer for the next. I will create a Treasure Map to Better Health during your FREE LifeChanger™ Session. Visit my website at for more information.

What Should I Stop Doing?

I was asked to write a blog about the single most important thing a person can stop doing to improve their well-being. Wow … One thing? There are so many things one can stop doing: smoking, eating sugar and processed foods, drinking excessively, overeating, doing drugs, staying up late and getting up early, living a stressed out life, ignoring issues rather than dealing with them. The list is long.

A colleague of mine recently wrote a short blog (check it out here) about whether or not you are the type to try to do something or if you just do it. When I was asked to write about what people should stop doing it Dana’s blog came to mind: They should stop trying.

What!?! Stop trying to lose weight/quit smoking/quit drinking/quit eating sugar/get to bed on time??? How will that improve my well-being? First, you won’t be buying into the excuses you come up with since they are no longer necessary. (Just this one, but it’s my birthday, but it’s my second cousin Rose’s birthday, but I did a good job today, but I had a hard day today, but my boss hates me, but I deserve it, but I’m lonely and sad, but, but, but.) Second, trying gives us an excuse to feel better about ourselves without really doing the work required … “Well, I’m trying to fix this.” Third, accepting responsibility for your choices will bring into focus your responsibility for the state of your well-being.

So, what’s the solution? Commitment.  Changing a lifetime of habits takes a commitment. Some habits require cold turkey techniques while others allow you to make small changes over time that add up to big changes … both require a major commitment.

Try saying these statements out loud:

  1. “I will not eat after dinner … no matter what! The way I feel and move depends on it. The quality of my days depends on it.”
  2. “I will try not to eat after dinner. I know it’s better for me.”

Can you feel the difference in these two statements? #1 just feels powerful: I’m in charge here and I accept responsibility for sticking to it! #2 gives up the power right out of the gate and allows for excuse making to take over.

As an example, I’ll use myself since I’m my most well-known subject! I eat when I’m ready to take a break from the day. One slice of watermelon is good, four is ridiculous. So, the above statements are mine. Once I truly commit to something, it happens. Until then, I play with it and totally buy into the excuses for the behavior.

So my advice is to stop trying and failing. It’s depressing as hell and self-defeating. When you’re ready to commit, go for it! If you need help solving a problem or getting to a place of commitment, seek the help of a professional. There are support groups for AA in every town and online. An online support group is what helped me quit smoking cold turkey in 1998. Of course, I recommend a Certified Health Coach (ME!) for weight loss and healthy habits. This is where making small changes can result in big payoffs! Learn more by visiting my website, HealthWorksKC.

New Contest! Gluten Free, Wheat Free, Dairy Free Cookbook.

Head on over to my FACEBOOK PAGE and LIKE the page PLUS comment on the Cookbook PHOTO to be entered to win!

Go to and LIKE the PAGE and COMMENT on the Cookbook photo to be entered to win! Drawing is on July 1st.

My Neighborhood

My Street

I am truly blessed to have moved into such a nurturing neighborhood. My old house was on a busy street and I was younger than most of my neighbors who had already raised their children. I was a single parent and felt judged by some of them, but now wonder if that wasn’t partly my inherent distrust of the ‘establishment.’

I moved into my current house in May of 2006 and was promptly greeted by a tiny, elderly woman about 87 years old. She introduced herself (Jean) and told me about a group of single, widowed and/or divorced women who got together on holidays and birthdays to share a meal. I was invited to join them on Memorial Day and am so glad that I did.

Poor Stray Kitty

Jean passed on in 2009 leaving me fully in charge of the stray cat she fed and provided a heated garage for. Today, that cat sleeps on my bed since I don’t have a garage. Jean named her Gypsy and it’s still appropriate.

The cast of characters in our little group is: Kay (ageless), Margaret (91), Martha (73) and Sonya (74) and sometimes Rachel (ageless). I am the baby of the group at 62. We go to Taco Bell on Thursday nights … Margaret’s choice. Do I go for the food? Nope! I rarely eat anything and when I do it’s just beans without cheese. I go for the company and the good feeling I get when I spend time with my friends.

We learn so much from each other! I begin to move at a slower, friendlier pace and they get a little insight into the world of Facebook style communication. They give me flowers to plant (I’m certain they pray they’ll live.) and I hook up their televisions or figure out what’s going on with their phone. When I had my hip replaced they brought me food and went to the store. When Sonya dislocated her shoulder, I took her to the hospital, Martha took her to doctor appointments and we all got her groceries. We sing a song of thanks before we break bread at our birthday get togethers. It’s a very comfortable, warm place to be.

Another neighbor is closer to my age and also single but doesn’t often take part in the group activities. It’s been in the last year that we’ve connected and I am thrilled! We go to movies and out to dinner, we ran errands together the other day. She is a gardener and gives me perennials when she thins them out. She came over and helped me plant all of my new shrubs and replant the coral bells and dianthus that had been removed when they poured my new driveway and sidewalk. (I’m certain she did it for the plants’ sake!)

The neighbors up and down my street are all known by name and when I walk the dog we stop and chat as we make our way down the street. The neighborhood is getting some younger people: Ashley with her 10-year-old daughter and Jennifer, who moved into Jean’s old house, just had a lovely baby boy. There are new neighbors with a 13ish-year-old boy.

I know most of the dogs’ names on the whole block and if I don’t know them, I make one up! There’s Oliver and Bella, Riley, Rosco, Leaping Labrador and Squeaky Dog. There’s Casey, Cinnamon and Benny. Who can forget Spot, Spot and Spot, the three Dalmatians and Molly, the newest member who might be the oldest member. Zeker and Pattiane walk with Mikey the Wonder Dog and me. We let their mom, Sonya, join. Bella, a little Shih Tzu hears us coming, runs to the front door and stands up on her hind feet, pawing at the door. Of course, she’s my favorite!

This is my neighborhood … I am blessed. If you don’t have a warm, friendly neighborhood, do you see something in what we have that you could begin doing? Sharing plants? Hosting a neighborhood Potluck? Or start small and go for a daily walk, smile and say hello. Before you know it, it’ll take you forever to make it back to your house because you’ll be stopping and chatting just like me!

Word Wednesday – PLAY! Part Two

ImageI have a vision of a neighborhood gang of adults, all gathered on two sides of someone’s yard singing out, “Red Rover, Red Rover let … NANCY … come over!” All the kids are clamoring to get in the game and the adults are telling them to wait their turn, but they don’t really mean it; they’re just stalling for more time for themselves. Wouldn’t that be awesome!

Here are some old favorites. Red Light, Green Light, Simon Says, Dodge Ball, Duck, Duck Goose, Freeze Tag … The list goes on! Maybe you could get your neighbors to play every night? Just like when we were young! Just think of the fun of taking turns with the kids. One game played by the adults, the next by the kids … Fun!

Can you picture the game of Statue? John tossing Mary … Kay landing sideways and having to hold it for, how long? How about Jump Rope? Do you remember the rhymes? Double rope? I’ll stick with one for now! I see the neighbors who aren’t jumping playing clapping games!

ImageWho’s going to bring the jacks and marbles? ImageDig out some hula hoops and break out the wiffle ball and bat! Someone can print out some jump rope and clapping rhymes and bring them along for those who aren’t as mobile. Rotate yards and times so that everyone can be included. We used to play ball in my back yard and jump rope on my neighbor’s driveway. Red Rover was a couple of doors down and Statue was wherever we were.

I have fallen in love with this vision! Spread the word.

Visit GamesKidsPlayfor rules and ideas.

Tips for Tuesday – PLAY!

In my mind’s eye I see myself as a 12-year-old tomboy, so when I saw* what Stephen Jepson, a world-renowned potter with pieces in several museums including the Smithsonian, was doing at the age of 72, I knew I had to share it with people: He plays! There is a video of his day and his games and I encourage you to watch. Never Leave the Playground Video

It's easier to learn to juggle with something that has grip: tennis balls or these softer juggling balls work best.

I have tennis balls that I juggle occasionally and have been known to toss them up against the house. I’ve tried to remember the sequence to a game we used to play that we called Seven Up. You toss the ball at a wall a certain way; turning in a circle between it hitting the wall and you catching it, or throwing it under one leg, straight toss, one bounce and there was something in there with claps … I don’t remember them all but have played with the game the way I remember it. I love to play!

Stephen suggests that if you play using both your dominant and non-dominant hands it will improve your memory and brain function. I found support for his theory at the Franklin Institute which states that working with your non-dominant hand will strengthen existing neural connections and even build new ones.

Other games that Stephen plays are critical to developing and maintaining balance which is essential in limiting/eliminating falls as we age. His passion for spreading his style of play as a fun way for people to help themselves is inspiring. Part of what makes it difficult for people to choose exercise over television, reading or video games is that exercise is usually boring. Stephen shows us a way to make it fun!

Some of my favorites include tossing a ball (I just enjoy that) and juggling. I love the rock walk (I grew up with streams and creeks and rocks). I am going to figure out a way to incorporate that in my yard so that it’s not a pain to mow around. Stick flipping also looks like fun to me. When was the last time you played jacks, and with your non-dominant hand? Yikes!

A few weeks ago I came across a colorful chalk hopscotch grid while out walking The Wonder Dog. I was immediately all smiles … and yep, I played! (Found out I needed hopping practice.)

And here’s something I hate to admit: I’ve never thought of hopping on my bike for the fun of it post childhood … What’s up with that? I don’t have to ride it for miles. On a nice day I can just hop on and ride it around the block or the neighborhood; play.

I’d love to regularly hop the balance beam and step over pipes and jump over things, but I’m not sure how I’d get that equipment set up. I don’t have a lot of storage, so I’m looking around at things and wondering what would work. I’d definitely have to start small with the jumping games. Since my hip replacement in 2008 my jumping skills leave much to be desired. I’d better stick with hopscotch for awhile.

Do you live by a playground? Lucky you … Go PLAY!!

*Big thanks to whichever Facebook friend posted the video. I tried to find it again, but after 10 minutes of looking up and down and back and forth, I gave up … THANKS!