Don’t sabotage your success

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People make fun of New Year’s resolutions, especially those about getting into shape, and not without reason. It is well-known that crowds thin out at most gyms by the end of January.  Many experts even discourage making resolutions. I don’t, but I will warn you about sabotaging your success. 

If you want to stick to working out or maybe even lose a few pounds, don’t sabotage yourself before you even start by choosing a workout, diet, or gym that you don’t really love. And I said love not our like. Getting into shape takes commitment.  Ideally you need to work out at least three times a week to see results – and four times is even better. If you are older and work in an office you need at least an hour of vigorous exercise a day to keep weight gain at bay.  

I work out at club in nice hotel that offers intensive barre classes and yoga. It has a lovely staff, a stocked locker room, and exceptional teachers. It attracts a fit, upbeat, friendly, eclectic crowd.  I usually manage to get there five days a week. 

I hate “gyms.” I have a phobia about them. I never even took a gym class after grade seven, but I have dropped in and out of yoga and Pilates since I was 14.  It may sound crazy but yoga is my sport.  My husband shares my “gym allergy,” but he will golf in a light snow flurry and can walk miles at a fast clip.  Neither of us needs to be dragged to a workout because we love what we choose to do. 2champ

Finding the right place and people are as important as the activity when it comes to making fitness part of your life. A close friend is having a hard time getting to a workout because she agreed to move far from her fitness club and her workout “tribe” with her boyfriend. With her heavy work load the 45 minute trek there and back makes her old five-day a week workouts a no-go.


Don’t sabotage yourself with scheduling or working out at a bad time for your body. Getting fit can be challenging, so make it easy to get there and fun to be there. If you don’t like the crowd or culture at a gym or yoga studio, you will find reasons not to go. Take time to try a few different clubs and teachers to get a good fit. Even when you are a beginner, working out should make you feel good not discouraged or judged.  

Working out with a friend can be fun and help keep you motivated but focus on a good a teacher or trainer for real results. Fitness needs expertise and commitment. Friends walking together or doing a DVD can slow down or chat instead of working up sweat. Also really good teachers change routines often to challenge your muscles. They also have a sixth sense about when you need to push harder and when you should back off a little. 

If you want to lose weight you need to adjust your diet. Exercise alone won’t help you drop weight, but it can help you tone up. I will repeat that: if you need to lose more than two or three pounds you need to eat less and probably better. But refrain from crazy fasts that will screw with your metabolism and temper. The best diet plan will include real food that you enjoy. Spend your time with other health-orien2MPted people who support your goals and lifestyle. I don’t mean that you need to find friends who are all on diets or card-carrying members of Weight Watchers, but binge drinking and eating will sabotage your waist and will.  

Two smart books to check out for good tips on healthful eating: 

The Marshall Plan: Being Good to Be Bad: It’s not a diet. It’s a lifestyle by Cindi Marshall Oakey.  Cindi is a friend. I met her working out. She looks amazing and her book tells you exactly how she manages to stay fit and fabulous after 50. It is full of smart strategies for women who want to live it up and live healthy – and all hopefully in their skinny jeans. The Champagne Diet: Eat, Drink, and Celebrate Your Way to a Healthy Mind and Body! by Cara Alwill brings glam and sparkle to often dull, depressing subject of weight loss.  

Darlings, embrace your new goals and habits. Find the environment, plan, and experts who make fitness and healthful eating feel attractive, delicious, and desirable not deprivation. When something feels good you want more of it and you can finally put an end to sabotaging your success.



Look and feel fabulous this year!

Darlings, forget complicated regimes. If you want to look and feel fabulous begin with the basics.
Wash your face
Buy a fancy cleansing brush if you like. I have an endless supply of white washcloths that I used once and throw in the washer. They are great for exfoliation. Cleansing gently exfoliates and rehydrates your face and body. Keep water warm and rinse well. I use a very inexpensive cleanser from the drugstore with salicylic acid or glycolic acid for my fair, dry skin. It exfoliates and refreshes. Never buy pricey cleansers. You just rinse it down the drain, so it is big waste of money. Save your beauty budget for serums, creams, oils, and if you like, a good doctor and/or esthetician.
How to apply sunscreen and other products after washing your face:
Apply a chemical sunscreen on clean skin or it will not work. That is why anti-aging sunscreens with anti-oxidants are effective and efficient.
Followed by: serum, anti-oxidants, moisturizers, makeup.
If you prefer barrier blocks such as titanium dioxide and zinc oxide, as I do, they can be applied after the serum and moisturizers.
Apply: Serum, treatment, then moisturizers or oils.
Eat more fresh fruits and vegetables
Cook at home. Food prepared at home has fewer calories and less fat than most restaurant meals. You can control portions and you’ll know what you are eating. Darlings, you know what is good for you, so make it a priority.
Never give up on yourself
Accept that no one is perfect. If you give into temptation and eat poorly one day, don’t give up! Just start eating well at your very next meal. After all, even Dr. Oz recently admitted to eating two pieces of his daughter’s Daphne’s chocolate cake, and he is a model of self-control.
Looking and feeling fabulous takes a certain amount of discipline, but with time the discipline becomes habit. A gorgeous habit.
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Keep your eye on the prize

"Real Housewife" Kyle Richards keeps her eye on the prize.Recently Beverly Hills Housewife Kyle Richards got some flak for advice she gave on cheating in her new book, Life is Not a Reality Show.  She says if cheating is a one-time thing, you may want to keep it to yourself — if you regret it and have a marriage that you value. And she advises forgiving a one-time transgression for the same reason. She makes it clear she is not advocating adultery. Nor would she welcome it.

I agree with her.  I don’t understand the fuss her very practical advice has attracted in a world in which cheating is common and marriages survive anyway.
It seems to me that her advice is to keep your eyes on the prize and not to lose sight of what you value.  Long-term marriages can be challenging, but they are also valuable. Kyle Richards was just advocating not being too quick to toss an otherwise good relationship away. Everyone has to decide what he or she can and cannot live with in any relationship. Personally, I have a low tolerance for any type of lying or cheating, but that is no secret to anyone close to me.
Still, I liked her book and her approach to life. All too often these days every disagreement and setback is viewed is as a make-or-break situation. We have become conditioned to reacting to events in a state of “emotional siege,” instead of developing resilience and sang-froid.

Life is challenging, my darlings, and at times it is exhausting. To react to everything on crisis mode leaves little time for anything but angst. Everything worth accomplishing requires some effort and commitment.
So this year, why not to think about what you really want out of life and develop a plan to get it. But, before you set an arbitrary goal, such as losing 20 pounds or taking a trip, stop and think about the things you really value.  That’s the real prize to keep in mind.
Work towards that goal and be committed to it. Don’t get distracted by the inevitable setbacks, disagreements, or disappointments. Heed the old advice: Count to 10, or sleep on it before reacting or losing your temper, when things don’t go your way. Stay focused and save the energy you would use dealing with people who annoy you.
Learn to cut people a little slack; no one so perfect. Learn to take the good and ignore the bad.
Learn to trust your own judgment and to solicit information without seeking approval. You will gain certainty and serenity. Negativity from others is often only the echo of their own self-doubt, so don’t let them rob you of your enthusiasm.
Keep your eyes on the prize.