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When most people ask me questions like, "How can I get motivated to eat healthy and exercise?", what they are usually asking me is "How can I make myself do something that I really don't want to do?".  This is a very faulty line of thinking and is exactly why many people are struggling with motivation.  This line of thinking gives motivation a very demotivating definition.  Let me explain...

There are three definitions of motivation: Standard (Implied), Basic, and the "Bikini Mindset" definition of motivation.  I already touched on the Standard (Implied) definition of motivation.  For teaching purposes, that official definition is "taking forced action or inaction" ("How do I make myself do something I don't want to do"). This definition requires the constant use of self-control and willpower to get something done.  

The problem with always relying on self-control and willpower is that they are both very limited resources; they can be applied to only one or two areas of life at any given time.  So if you're having to white-knuckle your way through the work day because you can't stand your job, you are using a majority--if not all--of your available self-control and willpower.  If you do have any left over, it isn't very much.  Most people have to white-knuckle their way through their workday and daily tasks that are tedious and menial (dishes, laundry, cooking, cleaning, etc).  After all of this, there isn't enough self-control and willpower left to make yourself do anything more than what it takes to simply survive.  

Do you understand why relying on self-control and willpower is actually very futile and even counter-productive?

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stop-measuring-food-and-break-all-the-weight-loss-rulesAs a fitness professional, many of my clients are shocked to find that I loathe all weight loss rules! Their jaws drop when I tell them that I discourage calorie counting, measuring food, and paying attention to portion sizes. The way I see it, if cavemen didn't have to do it, then neither should we! Can you imagine our primal ancestors huddled in a cave with hammer and chisel, carving out calorie counts and portion sizes on cave walls? I think not!

Listen, the reason why so many weight loss professionals and programs encourage weight loss rules like calorie-counting and food measuring is because they don't trust that your body will know when it's had enough to eat. The existence of the "hunger switch" is believed to be broken; the off switch doesn't work so hunger is always "on". Ok, so there is some truth to that belief—that may be why so many of my clients are stunned with my unconventional approach to healthy nutrition. They only feel that way until I tell them why I don't calorie-count or measure food: I found out how to fix that proverbial switch!

Before I tell you how to fix that hunger switch, let's go off on a little side-tangent. The brilliant researchers over at the University of California in San Diego discovered what Dr. Robert Lustig calls "The Holy Grail of Obesity Research": Insulin in the bloodstream blocks the transmission of Leptin to the brain. Leptin is the hormone that tells your body it's had enough to eat.

While I understand you may not be pumping yourself full of insulin, chances are that the foods you are eating are causing insulin to be released into your bloodstream. Want to break all the weight loss rules and stop calorie-counting and food measuring? Simply stop eating all the foods that cause insulin to be released into your bloodstream!

Such foods include anything that is made with highly refined sugars, wheat, and grains in general. Yep, pretty much 80 percent of the foods you probably eat. These foods essentially turn off your body's "I'm full and satisfied" signal, causing you to consistently overeat—which necessitates calorie-counting and food measuring. Eliminate all processed foods and grains from your diet and you won't need to keep a food log!

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Fat-free foods are making you fatI see you in the grocery store, carefully eyeing everything you pick up on the shelf. One phrase seems to be the determining factor of what goes in your cart and what goes back on the shelf: fat-free. What you don't know is that your careful dietary selections are only going to make you fatter. This is why and I'm praying that you will pay close attention...

Manufacturers are sneaky; they know weight loss is a huge market and that people are starting to pay more attention to their diets. How do they get their hands on a piece of the $61-billion-dollar Weight Loss Industry pie? They slap a label on their overly-processed foods that say "fat-free", then they sit back and watch the money start rolling in.

What these manufacturers don't tell you is that, while they skinnied-up the fat, they fattened-up the sugar to compensate for taste.  I'm not a conspiracy theorist, but my belief is that there is no such thing as fat-free processed food.  Guess what sugar turns into when it's done being processed by the body? FAT. See—while the body does need some sugar to function properly, all excess sugar beyond bodily needs is automatically stored as fat.

Not only that, but the fat is usually stored where most people are dying to get it off the most: the belly, hips, and thighs!

Not only do processed foods have an insanely-high amount of sugar, they also use way too much sodium to help preserve the food to allow for a longer shelf-life. Too much sodium in your body causes water retention to the tune of an added 2 to 5 extra pounds on the bathroom scale. Guess where your body is going to carry most of that water? If you guessed "my gut", you're right!

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Not only have I heard this plea for help by others, it was one I often made myself. Accepting that I had a food addiction did little to help me; it actually made things more confusing. Acceptance was just the beginning of a long, 4-yr struggle to break free.

While I had come to terms with the fact that I had a problem with food, I didn't know how to break the hold it had over me. My "mindfulness" was starting to drive me crazy as I uncovered habit after habit of self-destructive behavior, yet lacked the solution to overcome any of them. One habit that puzzled me to no end was my inability to stop eating.

A specific memory comes to mind that epitomizes my experience with food addiction...

It was a typical work day at the pharmacy I had been working at—typical meaning hectic and full of grumpy customers. Lunch finally rolled around and a co-worker and I escaped the chaos to one of my all-time favorite fast-food joints in Wichita. On the way there, I'm repeating in my head, "I'm not gonna be an oinker, I'm gonna be a good girl and order sensibly." And I did—I ordered a junior cheeseburger meal (a small cheeseburger, small fry, and a small drink).

What I really wanted was the 1/3-pounder with cheese, a large fry, a medium iced-mocha to drink, and then a brownie fudge sundae with extra fudge to top it all off. And I kept thinking about what I had versus what I really wanted. And I couldn't forget about it. Even after finishing the junior meal, acknowledging that I was full, I still felt "not satisfied". That feeling gnawed on me for the rest of my shift.

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Secret to Weight LossMany fitness enthusiasts, nutrition consultants, and weight loss experts don't really have a clue about the secret either, which is why nothing they can say or do will work for you. Not that their intentions aren't genuine, I'm sure they have a sincere desire to help you reach your goal. Unfortunately they can't help you because, just like you, they're clueless.

Before I reveal the secret behind why 96% of weight loss efforts are failing, let me reaffirm some of the advice you have been given:

• There is no such thing as a magic pill or shake.
• Fad diets do not work.
• You cannot lose weight without regular exercise AND maintaining healthy nutrition.
• You cannot out-exercise a bad diet.

All very sound and truthful advice. But does that help you at all? Are you now ready and excited to start dieting and exercising tomorrow? Are you ever ready and excited to diet and exercise?

The Secret to Weight Loss is Dramatically Unveiled

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Most of us have, at some point in time, lived our lives according to that number on the bathroom scale. The way we experienced our day would begin and end with that number. You know exactly what I'm talking about! One morning you hop on the scale and it tells you that you've lost a pound or two from the day before and you're feeling on top of the world! The following morning you do the same thing (it's like a ritual for you) and what comes next ruins the entire day for you:Why Bathroom Scales Suck

"How in the heck did I gain 5 pounds from yesterday?!?" (Cue emotional breakdown)

First off—take a big deep breath and stop letting your mantra be "why am I gaining weight?". Stressing out over it isn't going to do you any good—actually it'll make things worse for your midsection (article about the effects of cortisol and belly fat coming soon, I promise). Now that I've got you focused and centered again, I'm going to let you in on a little secret: Your bathroom scale SUCKS. Ok, not a surprise, but at least I have the pleasure of telling you why...

That bathroom scale isn't telling you the whole story. It doesn't tell you that the 5 lbs you gained overnight is water weight or muscle gain. Let me give a couple of examples to ease your mind regarding that 5-lb overnight weight gain.

Did you know...

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b2ap3_thumbnail_getting-over-the-fear-of-rejection.jpgI was journaling about a fear that I believe many people have: the fear of rejection. This fear keeps many from taking action; it has kept me from taking action. The fear of rejection breeds procrastination; it'll give you some very convincing reasons why now is the best time to not take action toward a goal. This fear has crippled—if not completely destroyed—the dreams of many! I know it's working on mine.

As I prepare to transform Kansas City, Missouri with Bikini Mindset, I feel those same fears beginning to rear their ugly heads.  Maybe you've heard them too...

• Who am I to think that I have what it takes to change the world?

• Why would anyone listen to me?

• They're going to think you're an idiot.

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Dear Mr. or Mrs. Weight Loss Product Pusher,

weight loss supplementsThe fact that I am writing a blog post that is addressing you personally shows that I need to have a few words with you—several hundreds of words actually.

Who am I and what concern do I have with you, you ask? Quite frankly, I'm a former fattie. At 5-feet-2-inches tall and weighing 181 pounds, I was classified as obese by medical standards—a classification that your industry says it's after. "End the Trend" is the motto, right?

While I was fighting my own very personal battle of the bulge, I spent a TON of money on your industry's fitness programs and nutritional supplements. Currently in my DVD collection are Taebo, Turbo Jam, Turbo Fire, Slim in 6, P90X, and T25. I've also used Xyngular, Nutrisystem, Weight Watchers, Innutra, ViSalus, Shakeology, and countless others. Sadly, none of it solved my problem; they didn't "End the Trend" for me.

There's one huge glaring fault with your product and campaign: It's focusing on the wrong problem. Maybe if we stop pushing fitness programs and weight loss supplements down the throats of overweight people, we can implement a true, permanent solution. You do care about helping find a lasting solution, right?

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First of all, let me just set the record straight and say that it has nothing to do with you being lazy and lacking motivation. Motivation is not the issue here. Feel better? Good.

So, what is the problem? Why haven’t you been able to achieve the same results as the beach goddesses in the weight loss commercials? You paid the same kind of money and followed the same fitness and diet plan, right? Why are they now able to bounce around in bikinis and flaunt glorious 6-pack abs while you’re still stuck hiding in baggy sweat pants and billowy t-shirts? Where is your bikini body and 6-pack abs!?!

Weight Loss Programs not Working?Take a deep breath, my friend—the problem is a basic one with a fairly simple solution that isn't going to cost you a thing except maybe the money it takes to buy groceries. Why groceries? Because that’s where your problem lies.

But first, I want you to think of something for a second…

What does every single weight loss program and supplement have in common? What comes along with every fitness and supplement program you ever purchased? Usually a detailed meal plan to follow—or at the very least a nutritional guide. Should you come across a weight loss program or product that doesn't come with at least some basic dietary information to follow, that is a HUGE indicator to not entrust your money, time, and effort into that program! Ninety-nine point nine-nine-nine-nine-nine percent of the time those kinds of programs are SCAMS and should be avoided like the plague. But back to the point…

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What are you doing to prepare for bikini season? Are you ready to rock a two-piece poolside this summer, or do you plan on sitting this one out again? If you’re wondering how to get a bikini body, look no further; help has arrived!

Getting your bikini body ready for the summerLove Handles, Muffin Tops, Belly Fat, Oh My!

First things first: Get your nutrition under control. If your diet primarily consists of processed foods, your abs will never see the light of day. It doesn’t matter how many crunches you do, or calories you count; putting crap in your body is going to add fat to your belly (and hips, and butt, and thighs). Don’t get me started on cellulite. Just remember this equation: Processed foods = disgusting belly fat.

Cutting out processed foods means cutting out roughly 80 percent of food sold in grocery stores. Thinking about what all you can’t eat may overwhelm you in the beginning; it’s best to concentrate on what you can eat: protein, dairy, vegetables, fruits, fats, and nuts. Get creative with it and learn to enjoy the benefits of eating a clean diet (i.e. void of processed foods).

How to Get a Bikini Body: The Formula

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Need to drop some considerable weight in a very short period of time? It will require some dramatic lifestyle changes, with your nutrition being the center of attention. It’s time to harness your inner health nut and fit freak! Here is a guide for how to lose 10 lbs in 10 days.

Do you need to lose 10 lbs in 10 days?Please, Not the “C” Word

Simmer down; I’m not going to suggest that you go "carb-free"; but if you want to lose 10 lbs in 10 days, you will need to go grain-free. While most of America has made going grain-free synonymous with going carb-free, they are not one-in-the-same. Carb-free diets are actually very dangerous, but we’ll save that topic for another post.

Back to your diet; I’m all about simplicity. And I don’t like people telling me what all I can’t have; the rebel in me kicks in and insists that I do the exact thing I was told not to do. So in the spirit of keeping things simple (and appeasing your inner-rebel), here is a list of what you can eat (you can call it "The How to Lose 10 lbs in 10 Days Diet"):

  • Lean proteins (chicken, fish, turkey, etc)
  • Dairy
  • Vegetables
  • Fruits
  • Nuts
  • Healthy Fats (butter, oils, avocados, etc)

Important notes:

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