Tag Archives | Susan Howard

Hail Mary

What do Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers and Russell Wilson have in common? That’s right, with the football game on the line and time running out, they have each perfected the Hail Mary. They can throw a bomb half the length of the field, into the end zone for the game winning touchdown.

What does this have to do with you and why do you care? Maybe you don’t even like football and could give two hoots about the Superbowl. Fear not. My usage of the term “The Hail Mary” is to be used thusly; if it’s the end of the day and you haven’t had a chance to workout because of work obligations, travel, family events whatever, you still can throw a Hail Mary.

You should answer the question what could be your Hail Mary routine and keep it in your mind and write it out so you know what to do in a pinch.

Picture this; it’s 9:30 pm and you are ..read more

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Tip Your Server

By Susan Howard

After graduating college, as a way to make some cash, I waited on tables at a local hipster diner in West Hollywood.  The job is actually a lot harder than you might think.  To be a successful server you have to take on a bunch of tables while keeping them all happy simultaneously even as they are likely on different parts of their meal.  One wants a drinks menu, another patrons hot order of pancakes and bacon is up and the last is ready to go and wants the check.  At a busy restaurant which is where you make the good money, it’s especially challenging.  Plus you are on your feet for eight hours at a time running around punching in orders, carrying food and busing tables.

As a rule, you should tip these people 20 percent of the total bill across the board, unless something really goes horribly bad, like you get a glass of beer ..read more

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Containers

By Susan Howard

The other day one of my clients, having hit a 50 pound weight loss milestone, was reflecting on some of the decisions she is now making to continue her successful trail.  “Containers,” she said, “You have to start at the source.”  Specifically she was talking about how when she goes to the movies, she orders a small buttered popcorn.  She tells them to charge her for the full, but to fill it half way.  Another wise example she had was at a soft serve ice cream place (she had a friend in town), she ordered a kiddie cup and told them the same thing. She said, “Charge me for the whole thing, but fill it half way and add caramel sauce and sprinkles on top.” 

This may not sound like a weight loss plan as you read it.  You may be wondering…ice cream with caramel sauce…buttered popcorn…this is not a good idea.  If you want to lose ..read more

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Pre-Game Plan For Staying Fit

By Susan Howard

Happy Summer ya all. 

With summer brings BBQ’s and pool parties and as I write this it’s the morning of 4th of July.  In the past I have written about portion control and just take one plate, no seconds and stuff like that.  This time I am going to talk about your pre game plan.

Say you are going to an event that afternoon or evening, here are somethings you can do to help yourself in the storm of hot dogs, potato chips and cupcakes.

First thing that morning, you should workout, Duh.  Get in some cardiovascular activity like a hike, bike ride or a run.  If you can do one of those for 30 minutes and then add 10 or so of strength training you should be good.  When in doubt go on you tube and check out one of the abundant videos, or go old school with push ups and crunches.

Second, eat protein.  We ..read more

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Always, Sometimes, Never

By Susan Howard

This phrase, “Always, Sometimes, Never” reminds me of an Algebra test I didn’t pass or an old drinking game that got me into trouble at a college house party.  Today I am referring to none of the above.  (Answer D) 

Instead, I want you to look at your absolutes. 

From; “I will never stop drinking coffee.” to “I hate weight training.” to  “I am not an early riser.” to “I always need something sweet in the afternoon.”  Whichever one of these phrases relates to you, (you could also fill in the blank with some of your own one-liners) aren’t completely true.

Yes, there are somethings you don’t want to give up…YET, but don’t block off the potential of change you could ignite by deciding that you are any one thing. 

At this moment you are you for as many years as you have been you. You feel most comfortable in your habits, but is the ..read more

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Self Harm V. Self Love

By Susan Howard

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 ..read more

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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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Stretching, warming up, and cooling down are essential to getting a good and safe workout as an adult.

Warm Up, Stupid

By Susan Howard

When I was in my twenties, I remember age-old advice given to me: before working out, always warm up for at least 5 minutes and always cool down and stretch for 5 minutes after working out.  This and “wash behind your ears” were solid truths I chose to ignore.

What a waste of time, I thought. Why not just workout hard, jump on the treadmill, run 3 miles and be done with it?  I don’t have all this time to be bringing my body temperature up and slowly building to a run. Yawn.

That was then.  If you are 20 and reading this, you are probably okay.

But, when you get into your 30’s and 40’s a warm up is really essential, especially if you have been working out consistently.  As an adult, your connective tissues get tight from over use and repetitive contraction.

You must warm up, or you are likely to suffer a pull, strain or even a tear.

On this ..read more

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Love yourself if you dare

By Susan Howard

Recently I got into an email battle with an author that I quoted in a post on my site. She was upset about how I pleaded with readers to stop buying food in large quantities which often leads to overeating. Love yourself at any weight is the driving message in her book and she was claiming that I was being hurtful to the overweight population. I was talking with one of my successful weight loss clients (75 lbs. down) and she wisely replied, “What about loving yourself enough to take CARE of yourself.” I couldn’t agree more.

My goal in working with clients is to get them close to their “set” weights. Unless you are an actor or an underwear model, why bother with anything else? No, my client isn’t a size two, but she went down 10 sizes and can fit into most anything she wants. She looks and feels great and has re-gained energy, confidence and control ..read more

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Pick up something you always loved

By Susan Howard

As an adult, I can’t believe I am calling myself that, I have a ton of responsibilities.   My brain is constantly tasking and prioritizing and organizing.  Even my own workouts are planned and set.  It seems this is the best way to function, schedule everything out and plan.  The problem with this is it’s boring.  When your mind is bored, then likely your body is too and if your body is bored it is not improving from a fitness standpoint.

As a kid, there is always new data coming in; one because everything is new to you and two because you are being challenged and introduced to a wide variety of things to see what may interest you.  You are expected to try and learn, that is the norm.  As we get older we have already decided what we are good at or not good at and we tend to repeat the things we are good at and ..read more

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