Self Harm V. Self Love

By Susan Howard

Self Harm Vs. Self Love

The battle begins.  Who will reign triumphant, love or hate?  I have worked with a few clients who in their sordid past were self harmers—some with food, drugs or razor blades.  No matter the vice, they are all the same really.  Circumventing life frustrations, taking the stress out in a way that cripples them.  Instead of dealing with issues straight on, they hide their feelings and act out.

Why is it so hard to avoid self loathing?  I can take the thinnest most in shape person and they struggle as much as the over weight one.  Maybe that is a reason for the popularity of Instagram in that people are desperately trying to convince other people they are beautiful as they struggle with their own inner pain.

Who cares what you look like, it’s what’s on the inside that counts, as the old saying goes.  People do care what you look like, and you care what you look like as well you should.  Maybe though you don’t need to pick yourself apart.

How can we get to loving ourselves?  Seems virtually impossible as we all tend to cling to a negative bias.

First off if you have serious issues, get professional help.  There is a reason people spend their lives work helping others.  Don’t let your past pain envelop your present or future.  Try and link your feelings with the true reality of where they lay.  I am pissed at my co worker, face them and workout your feelings head on.  If this is impossible, hit the gym and give yourself and extra hard workout.

Practice gratitude everyday.  List five things you are grateful for each day and make one of them your body or a part of your body you actually do love.

You are not getting revenge on anyone when you hurt yourself.  Nobody loses when you self harm, but you.  You are not proving anything to anyone, you are simple destroying your own self.  Get healthy from the inside out and you will emanate true beauty.  Instagram fabulous.

Stay Ready.

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My Dog Died

By Susan Howard

My dog actually did die two weeks ago, he was a great dog.  Bailey, he was like my first son.  He did funny tricks, flipped over couches and snored as he dreamed.  I will miss him forever and always.  The fact is I could not stop my 12-year-old blind dog from dying.  It’s one of the things that happens in life, and so it goes. 

If, however, I put on five pounds and I want to take them off there is a way to do so.  The five extra pounds is not an impossible puzzle.  There is something I can do about it.

Yes I have got to clean up my diet, exercise more, and be discipline in all the choices I make, but there is an answer to my problem.

Know this; if you think you can’t, you won’t.

Don’t make things bigger than they are.  You are not boxed into a corner in the ..read more

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A closer look at what some people claim is a healthy diet and how to improve it.

Are You Healthy?

By Susan Howard

So… are you?  “Of course, I am healthy,” you retort.  I had wheat toast with almond butter for breakfast, a salad for lunch, Cliff bar for a snack, and a bean and cheese burrito for dinner.  To you, I say, “Yes, those are all fairly healthy choices especially if you are working out 4 to 5 days a week.”

I hate thinking of food as the gate keeper and myself as a prisoner in my own dietary life.  If, however, you are not getting the results you desire, you must look more carefully at the choices you make.

Back to that eating day, let’s look and assess…

Although the day’s calories contain a salad, the intake is a bit light on vegetables and has no fruit at all.  On top of that, there are hidden calorie bombs.  Almond butter, although good for you, can be over-served jacking up your calorie and fat count.  A thin layer of something creamy and delicious ..read more

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You can choose to be as fit as you wish. Make the choice!

Fight, fight, win!

By Susan Howard

Today at my local gym, I was talking to a workout pal of mine that also happens to be a mega bro. He looks like a pro wrestler with big guns, strong legs, and ripped abs. He was eating a cookie at the time (granted it was the healthy kind with extra protein inside), and he offered me a bite. I took a little taste and said, “You can eat that stuff, I can’t.”

“No I can’t,” he retorted. “Everyone always says that and they are dead wrong.” He continued, “I watch what I eat all the time, that’s how I look like this. It’s tough to give stuff up, but if you want to look a certain way, you have to.”

There it is.  All the images of hot chicks in swim suits and shirtless dudes with their jeans pulled down past their hips, don’t just look that way, they choose to look that way.  This opens a whole ..read more

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Find out if using a scale is the right move for you.

The Scale: To Use or Not to Use?

By Susan Howard

Riddle:  What tells you things you don’t want to hear without speaking a word?

Answer: The scale.

Okay, I just made that one up.

Some of my clients that have had a large weight loss and in the wake of this massive success have taken to weighing themselves on a daily or at least weekly basis.  For this category of person, I say good on ya.  It keeps you honest and keeps the pounds from secretly creeping back on.  You are fighting the 50 plus pounds you lost last year.

For the rest of us, let’s decide what is the best fit.

Answer these questions:

How do you feel after getting off the scale?:

Freaked out?

Hopeless?

Inspired?

Depressed?

Motivated?

For some of you the scale can mean many things.  It could be used as a reward or a punishment.  If it sends you into a fit of over or under eating then it’s not for you.  If, on the other hand, it keeps you in check and focused on your ..read more

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Find out which fats are okay for your diet.

FAT is FAT is FAT

By Susan Howard

Okay guys so what’s the story with fat?  Well, you should have some in your diet. Are all fats equal? Yes and no. Some fats are better for you than others.

Recommended fats are those from olive oil, avocado, fish and nuts.

So, the question is, what about all the other fats?  Can we have butter, or coconut oil, or trans fats?

The word on trans fats is still a no-go.  Most packaged foods have removed trans fats so you don’t have to worry as much about that, but be mindful of fried foods like french fries or doughnuts as they may have trans fats in them.  Continuing on with butter and coconut oil… Both have come back into favor over the last decade.  Yes, these fats are okay to consume, but don’t go crazy.  It’s still recommended that about 10 to 20 percent of your diet comes from fat.  So, good or bad, it’s still fat.

Which brings me to my ..read more

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Some healthy foods might not be good for everyone. Learn to eat what's good for your body.

What’s Good For Ya

By Susan Howard

Recently I was talking to a new client and she said, “I know salad is good for me, but every time I eat it, I get a huge stomach ache.”

“Well, it seems, salad isn’t good for you.”

Nothing is right for everyone.  Yes, fruits and veggies are generally good for fiber and nutrients, but if you have major stomach cramps after eating something you have to think about whether it’s a match for your system or not.

“Try warm vegetables instead of raw salad,” I suggested.

Healthy fats, lean proteins, vegan, carb free diets are all fine for some of you.  If you find yourself bloated or tired after a meal you need to question that.

Some of the mean intruders are the acid levels of citrus foods, coffee, and raw vegetables.

Other people have issues with diary or gluten.  Be mindful, take care of yourself.

You are you, honor that.  You deserve to feel good in your body.

Stay Ready.

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Fight laziness by moving more!

Lazy Daze

By Susan Howard

In Indian sanskrit, there are certain steps to Nirvana.  Practicing the asanas, meditating, becoming selfless, overcoming the ego, and so it goes.  There is also a list of things that prevent you from reaching Nirvana.  One of those is, yes, you guessed it, laziness.

Before I get into this, it doesn’t mean you should push yourself around full steam ahead leaving this moment in the dust.  No, some of you reading this likely need to slow down and be a bit more chill.  But then there are the others of you that are, for lack of a better word, lazy.  You don’t want to be.  You are fuzzy in your mind, tired and perhaps a bit depressed.  Lazy is never just lazy, it signifies a hopelessness and a dimness that can’t be moved past.

How, I ask, can you reach your potential?

Well, you must move.  No surprise there.  Action begets more action.  Be in motion. Now I am here, now ..read more

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Going on a cruise or vacation can disrupt your healthy lifestyle. Here's why it's good to workout during vacation.

Row, Row, Row Your Boat

By Susan Howard

Hey fellow travelers,

I just got off a cruise and onto dry land and my head is still rocking.  The trip began with multiple days of navigating the Disney World theme parks Epcot, Animal Kingdom, the whole lot. There were days I did not work out, as we were with the kids and rising early to hit breakfast and the parks. At the end of those 12-hour days, my sad feet didn’t want to do it. Excuses I know.

Since my wife got invited on a media pass, we were invited to all these sponsored dinners and parties. I realized, like a little fish out of water, it was hard to say no again and again to delicious temptation and free booze. Even though I know better, I got tripped up.

By day five, I felt like a bloated beach ball. Maybe it was the beer, sugar, lack of exercise or all of the above, but a depression washed over me. Yes ..read more

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Here are some small ways to fight obesity.

Strange Shapes

By Susan Howard

On my recent vacation, I got a close look at a portion of our country, middle America. Here in Los Angeles, it’s all about the pretty people, the hyper-fit, the plastic, and the perfect.  Yes, L.A. has it’s own issues, but you don’t really see the obese population like you might in other parts of the U.S.

It’s incredible to me the different shapes people become when they over eat and under move.  It’s like their tummies are attached to their thighs, while their legs and calves are super fit to hold up the entire ship.  When I see regular-sized heads with narrow shoulders encased by this crazy fat frame, it’s really shocking.

I may sound mean here, but I am not poking fun, I am actually alarmed at the mismatch.  We are f@#!ing up!  I constantly worry that I am not doing enough as a trainer.  Yes, I encourage my clients, but that’s such a small fraction; it’s feels ..read more

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