My name is Neale Bacon. I have lost (so far) 200 pounds with no pills, potions, shakes, short cuts or surgery. Join me for tips and tricks I learned on this journey. There may even be a laugh or two along the way.

Archive for the ‘information’ Category

My visit to the Healthy Family Expo

healthy family expoMy last post was about the Wellness Show, and recently we had another similar show. This was called the Healthy Family Expo because the focus was on – wait for it  – families! It had a wide variety of things of interest to young families, but I will focus on the things I found that relate to weight loss or at least healthy eating and living. I am not exactly an expert of baby clothes or maternity outfits. I will say there was lots of companies with healthy baby foods but I didn’t spend time at those booths.

bobs_and_lolo

The first thing I sought out when I got there were my friends Robyn Hardy and Lorraine Pond aka Bobs and Lolo. Why would I seek out kids performers? Well first of all they are friends of mine. We have performed at some of the same events (don’t forget wearing my other hat I am a family ventriloquist). You may wonder why am I mentioning them here. Well I tell people that you need to find exercise where you can, even if that is dancing with your kids and grandkids. If you want some really fun and upbeat kid’s music that won’t make you want to scream after 5 minutes, let me recommend Bobs and Lolo. Not only is their music lively and upbeat, but it encourages physical activity, friendships, outdoor stuff and much more. Have a peek! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N1O_rIzwi-g Put your dancing shoes on and have fun!

products-veggemoSo what did I find for my healthy eating plan. Wow where do I start? I was excited to be granted media priviledges to cover the event and was given a huge swag bag as I was leaving. One product that was in there was something I tried when I was going around. It is a unique milk substitute. It is called Veggemo. It comes in 3 flavours – original, unsweetened and vanilla. What makes it unique is the ingredients. It is made from peas, tapioca and potatoes. Oh and it is delicious. My first thought is that this would be great to use when making a cream soup instead of using cream. It can be used plain as a beverage, in baking, or even in your coffee. Their website is http://www.veggemo.com600x600_VeggieGround

I am not a big fan of veggie burgers as I have had too many that tasted like compressed lawn clippings. I found one at the show that totally changed my mind. It is called Veggie Grounds and is made by a company called Big Mountain Foods. They were serving it on pizza samples and it was really amazing. These products are a good way to get some 600x600_OriginalPattyvegetables in your diet. I know for me it is one thing I always come up short on. I took a
chance and actually bought a package of their veggie burgers to try at home, and again, amazing. They were flavourful. I won’t say they would totally replace my hamburgers, but it’s a good alernative from time to time. They are fully cooked so you really just heat them up. We did ours in a frying pan, but I bet they would be great on a bar bq too.

smokedI also have found I need to add more fish to my diet. I love fish but I often overlook it in my diet or get bored with the same old canned salmon or tuna. I found a company that not only produced a delicious canned salmon and tuna, but is a company that is using a high stand of sustainability in their fishing practices. They are also a BC company which is extra cool for me. The two products I tried were their smoked salmon and smoked tuna. Yes they come in a can and they were to die for. My dad used to smoke salmon and it brought back those memories. Check out http://www.raincoasttrading.com

smart sweetsDo you have a sweet tooth? I have a weakness for gummi bears. I found a company called Smart Sweets that sell gummi bear that are practically sugarless. I say practically because there is only 2 grams of sugar in a bag and includes 24 grams of fibre. According to their promotional material, this is the equivalent as 6 servings of vegetables. They are also GMO and gluten free. Oh and for those with a sour tooth, they make sour gummies too. Find them at http://www.smartsweets.com

bag-raspberry-chia-bars-us

As I mentioned there was an emphasis on healthy families and there was a lot of products for
kids lunches. I found on that was really tasty and it was dairy, peanut, egg, wheat, gluten, tree nut,sesame,shellfish and sulphite free. They are called Freeyumm. They come as little snack bars and cookies that come in a number of flavours. My personal favourite was the raspberry, but there is also Honey Apple, Chocolate Chip, Double Chocolate, Honey Hemp, Blueberry, Giner, and Banana Maple. Forget the kids. These would be great to take to the office to avoid the vending machine temptation. You can find them at http://www.freeyumm.com

Bread-Lent-Grain-USI am a big advocate of multi-grain breads and I found another local company making some delicious whole grain breads. The company is One Degree Organic Foods. They also make some really yummy cereals. What impressed me the most is that there are 6 ingredients in their bread, and one of those is water. I also recognized the other ingredients. My rule for a while has been if I can’t pronounce it, I don’t eat it. Not an issue with these breads!

Oh these are not gluten free, which is important for some, but still delicious. Find them online at http://www.onedegreeorganics.com

 

I should mention that Whole Foods was a major sponsor of the Expo, and all of these products can be found at your local Whole Foods. You don’t have to buy them online. I am the first to admit that some of Whole Foods products can be more expensive than those in your regular supermarket but as I ask people frequently – what is your health worth.

So there you have it. Just a few of the amazing things I found at the expo. It was an outstanding show, and I could see from the looks on people’s faces (much like I did at the Wellness Show) that people were really learning some new stuff that would improve their lives.

Check your local paper or online and look for these types of fairs or expos in your town. They are well worth attending. You will learn a lot, get to try a lot of new products that you may have only heard about. There are often freebies and special sales. If nothing else, you get the exercise from walking around and carrying all your new healthy purchases!

Until next time, have a healthy and happy day!

 

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The Vancouver Wellness Show

The Vancouver Wellness Show ( http://www.thewellnessshow.com/ )is an annual event that my wife and I never miss. In fact this year is their 25th anniversary. There is a lot to see, do, sample, taste and learn. There are workshops, lectures, cooking demos, fitness demos and more!

It was this past weekend (March 3,4,and 5) and it was at the Vancouver Trade and Convention Centre.

Now granted, and I say this in all fairness, there are some alternative wellness booths that make me shake my head, with people standing on something that looks like a paint mixer, or lying on a table with coloured lights blinking around them.

We even saw one booth that had a tent set up that people sat in with strobe lights flashing. I am not sure what that was supposed to do, but I am surprised no one had seizures from it.

Sadly there are also lots of booths of pills, potions, shakes and other short cuts and you all know how I feel about those.

The good news is that there is tons of other stuff for everyone, even if ,like me, you want to just learn about real healthy food and snacks and living a healthy lifestyle.

vida-plates-packI had read on Facebook of a company called Vidadish                            ( http://vidadish.com/) that makes a portion control system. As my readers know I am big on portion control. I will also say they vida-water-bottlehave not paid me for this. I bought my products but wanted to share what I liked about it.

I bought kind of a starter set. It cost me $30 which was a show
special that included a bonus water bottle. It also has a sample 7 day meal plan inside.vida-plates-open

vida-platesIt comes with the meal plate and the snack plate. They both have nice tight fitting lids so they are good for home, work or
even on the go. If you are familiar with the American “My Plate” system, it is similar but divided a bit differently. It is hard to see in my photos but they are even labeled with a C for complex carbs, P for protein and a small section labeled F for fats.

vida-protein-sectionIn the complex cards section goes your vegetables and grains, in the protein section is obviously for meat or other protein sources. The small section is for healthy fats like a low fat cheese for example. One feature I really like is the protein section is removable so you can heat up your meat. If you took some chicken breast and a salad for example, you could heat up the chicken without having to heat up the salad.vida-snack-plate

As I mentioned, it comes with a snack plate which is in 2 sections for complex carbs and protein. It would be good for apple on one side and peanut butter on the other.

One note – these are hand wash. They are not dish washer safe. They are leak proof, unbreakable and BPA free. Check out their website!

One thing I am always looking for is healthy snacks. I am not a sweets person but more of a savoury person. In other words I prefer chips to chocolate. I found a great snack from Zak Organics (https://www.zakorganics.com/) and they make a yummy nutritious snack called Crunchy Peas. These are roasted chick peas and come in 4 flavours, Sweet Cocoa, Garden Herb, Smokey Bar BQ and Seas Salt and Lime.

zak-organic

zak-organic-labelThey had a special of 4 bags for $20 so we bought one of each. I also bought a few small snack size bags. I have to tell you, they are delicious! They have the crunch and saltiness of chips, but these are chick peas which are high in protein. In fact acording to the label, there is 5 grams of protein per serving (1/3 cup). There is also 140 calories per serving.

I have to admit I had 2 servings at once (2/3 cup) and mixed 2 different flavours. You take your time and eat them one or two at a time and have a long lasting healthy snack. A serving has 120 mg of sodium which is 5% of your RDA so some of you that have to watch your sodium may have to watch your intake. Trust me, they yummy and very addictive!

maple-walnut-copyI am a big peanut butter fan but a lot of friends have been getting me pecan-butter-copyto look at other nut butters. not for any allergenic reasons, but for some healthier options.

We found a company called Better Butters(http://www.better-butters.com)  from Sechelt BC. They had an amazing assortment of nut butters and after samples quite a few, we settled on Maple Walnut and Pecan Butter. I had the Maple Walnut this morning on my toast and it was soooooo tasty.

mwo-classic-mac
mwo-shells-white-cheddar-1We managed to pick up some free boxes of Annie’s Organic Mac and
Cheese (www.annies.com). Annie’s makes a lot of really great organic products. Our granddaughter is a big fan of mac and cheese so we want her to have a healthier brand and she loves it! We like it because Annie’s uses real cheese with no artificial flavours, synthetic colours or preservatives.

snacks_cookies_snickerdoodle_cr___They also make a great product similar to  Teddy Grahams called Annies Snickerdoodle Cinnamon Sugar GLUTEN FREE Bunny Cookies. Warning – these are highly addictive!

The show isn’t just about food though. You get to talk to a lot of people about healthy living and healthy things to add to your life. There are health talks for women, families and general health.

I attended a really interesting lecture by Dr. Jason Marr on the difference between Diet and Nutrition. He is a naturopathic doctor at  Evoke Integrative Medicine in Vancouver. He spoke of the difference between simply the food we put in our mouth (diet) and the effect of that food on the body (nutrition).

I have never really listened to a naturopath before, and found it really interesting. It is an approach to medicine that puts the patient first – treats them as an individual, not just as a patient.

I had hoped to stay long enough to see the Chair Yoga workout, but my wife and I pooped out before that.

We brought our little granny cart with us, and it came home fully loaded with giveaways and products we bought. If you live in the Vancouver area, circle it on the calendar for next year!

Until next time, have a healthy and happy day!

 

Focus.

focusWhy is it so hard to maintain focus? There are a few reasons. I will tell you up front that this is going to be a personal blog post because lately I have been very unfocused in a number of areas and I got thinking about WHY?

Lately I have been unfocused about my weight loss, my food plan, my exercise, this blog, and a few other things.

I will try to give you a few reasons I think I have been unfocused, and maybe you can relate. Together we might even find some answers and steps to refocus.

First, I suffer from a condition called Seasonal Affective Disorder. At this time of year in the area I live, it is very dark and grey for days on end. Loads of rain and gloom. SAD makes you feel tired all the time. If it gets bad enough, some people have to use what is called light therapy- sitting under special lights to make up for the lack of sunlight, and the resulting lack of vitamin D.

Because of my lack of energy, I have only been getting out to the gym once a week instead of the 3 times I had planned to do. I have fallen behind on my food diary because I just didn’t feel like filling it out one day, and I would blink and a week had gone by.

I have started taking my vitamin D again and have been feeling a bit better. I am not a doctor and not saying this is what you should do. Always check with your doctor first.

The sun is coming back slowly but surely, and the days are getting longer and that is helping too.

Secondly I have to admit to a tendency towards being lazy. I can drift off my plans and just need to pull myself back on track. This is why I have always been bad at journalling.

Thirdly, like so many, I can become discouraged at a lack of results. I should know better. I should know that this takes time, but it is especially hard when you hit a plateau. That discouragement at a lack of results becomes a slippery slope, but I have a good support network. My wife pointed out to me how I had gone off track with my food plan, and has been helping me get back on track.

I have to confess something now that is kind of difficult. I have been discouraged by the results of my blog. I know there are a few folks following me, but I just can’t seem to grow this blog and I have even been thinking “What’s the point if no one is reading. Maybe no one cares.”

That same feeling has been creeping into my efforts at becoming a motivational speaker. I have been thinking Maybe no one wants to hear what I have to say? Maybe people are still looking the quick fix, and that’s not what I offer.

My work as an entertainer has dropped off as well, though as I speak to other performers they tell me the economy is effecting them too.

This realization leads me to number four – plain old self pity. I have come to realize that a large part of my problem lately has been a good old fashioned pity party. Part of that is from focusing on others instead of myself, which is something else I should know is not the way to be.

So what is the solution?

First there are a few things I can do about the SAD. I am taking my vitamin D with my multi vitamin, I am back on track with eating more fruits and veggies and I am taking time to get relaxation as well as proper sleep.

Second thing is what do I do about leaning to the lazy side? It is up to me to pull it together. Part of that is setting a time every day to make sure I log my food. I set it in my calendar like an appointment.

Third I will stop focusing on others- at the gym, other bloggers and other performers. I will acknowledge my own accomplishments and achievements, and even start giving me non-food rewards. This is something I had done before but for some reason had stopped.

Number four is the hardest. I just have to tell myself (as you have to tell yourself) ENOUGH! Stop the pity party and get on with it.

So why have I written all this? One is to get it off my chest, if only for myself, but the other is that I hope by sharing some of these things about myself, that you may recognize them in yourself and start to refocus yourself.

Here is my plan to refocus. You can take from it what works, and leave what doesn’t work for you.

I need to refocus in three ways – first spiritually. For me that means more time in my Bible, and more time in prayer. Second – mentally. For me that means stop the pity party and as the jocks would say, get my head (and heart) back in the game. Thirdly – physically. For me this means to refocus on my food plan and on my physical plan.

It is never a bad thing to stop once in a while if we feel we need to regroup. It is not wrong to acknowledge what has gone right.

I am proud of my 190 pound loss and I know I will get to goal. I know that the closer I get to my goal the more challenging it becomes. I hope you will all be along for the ride because I plan to continue sharing.

I want to ask a huge favour. If you have ever gotten anything from my blog – a tip, an idea or even a chuckle or two, please tell others and get them to follow my blog. Not “like” when it posted to Facebook, but actually follow me.

Until next time, have a happy and healthy day!

refocus

News Year’s Resolution or New Year’s PLAN?

new years I have never liked the term New Year’s Resolution because to me it was always too vague and seemed doomed to failure even as they were being written.

Why do I think they are doomed to failure? It is simply because we make the resolutions like we make goals – too general and therefor too hard to measure our success, which often leads us to give them up.

I prefer to use the term New Year’s Plans. What’s the difference? The difference is specificity. A resolution is I want to lose weight. A plan is I will track my food and exercise and plan to lose 20 pounds by June.

It’s been said many times that goals should be SMART ; Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timely. This is what makes the difference between a resolution and a plan.

I’d like to give you a few tips on how to make your New Year’s Resolutions into concrete New Year’s Plans.

  1. Once you have made specific plans, don’t keep it a secret. Tell everyone. Tell your friends and family, and (if you dare) put it out on social media.It is not that you want to nag you or keep track of you, it is is simply that you are hoping for their encouragement.
  2. Get Your Friends and Family Involved. Similar to tip one but more than just telling them your plans; recruit their help. If you are planning on going to the gym more, encourage one of them to go with you. If you plan to eat healthier, maybe take a cooking class with someone or share healthy recipes with them.
  3. Write everything down, and use other media like photos. Write down the plans, but also your progress (with photos if appropriate), how you are feeling, and even your challenges. I suck at writing things down (as you can tell from my sporadic postings) but one of my plans is to not only track my food but also my exercise by keeping a food/exercise journal. When it comes to food, we have a say in TOPS “If you bite it, write it.”
  4. Actually make a plan. Planning ahead will help you stay on track. Again, going to my plan of continued healthy eating and exercise, I have planned out a schedule of gym attendance. I have booked appointments with myself as it were. Days I am to be at the gym. Even planning what types of exercise to do on what days. I also want to try planning out my meals and especially my snacks (a weak area I must confess)
  5. Don’t quit. Did you know that generally speaking, only 8% of people achieve their New Year’s Resolutions. The main reason people don’t achieve them is they simply give up. People moan “It’s too hard” or “I didn’t know it would be this hard”. Did you know the number one resolution people make is to get more exercise or lose weight. Did you also know that most people quit going to the gym within 6 weeks? Change is always hard. As my kids are fond of saying Suck it up, Princess.
  6. Keep the list short. Don’t make it too hard on yourself. As I said, change is hard so maybe just make one change at a time.
  7. Don’t think in absolutes. If you say “I am never having chocolate again” for example, you are setting yourself up for failure. I can almost guarantee you will have a piece of chocolate, and when you do you will go to the “I blew it” mindset. The rest of your plans will soon go by the wayside because you will think you can’t do this.
  8. Take advantage of mobile technology. There are tons of apps out there that can remind you to do the things on your plan. Set appointments on your calendar for the gym, check out places like the App Store for reminder apps. There is one called Healthy Habits. It is free but limited to tracking 3 habits (like drinking more water etc) but you can upgrade to track more.
  9. Find substitute activities. Do you watch too much TV and your plan is to watch less? Then plan a different activity. Maybe plan to read more this year. Find books you really want to read or re-read an old favourite.
  10. Lastly, reward yourself (no food rewards) for “good behaviour”. When you reach a certain milestone or goal, take yourself to a movie, buy a book or DVD, or some other reward that makes you happy.

In keeping with my own advice, I am going to share with you my New Year’s Plans.

  1. Go to the gym 3 days a week (Monday, Wednesday and Friday ideally)
  2. Journal my workouts in a workout diary
  3. Journal my food in a food diary
  4. Lose another 20 pounds by my trip in July
  5. Take my certification course as a Weight Loss Specialist

That’s it. Short and sweet. Now, it doesn’t mean I can’t revise this list or add other things but this is a start.

When I get to July, and hopefully have achieved my 20 pound loss, I can plan my final loss to goal. I still have 35 pounds to my goal, and I want to be there by the end of 2016. By breaking it into chunks, it will be easier and less discouraging. How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.start something

I know not all of you are on a weight loss journey, and you have to make your New Year’s Plans your own. Maybe it is learn a new language, or take a night school class, or even change jobs or careers.

Your list and your plans are yours. Don’t think you have to do all the usual things everyone else does.

Don’t think of it as resolutions. Think of it as an action plan.

I have something for you to add to your list. Please share this blog with others. Blogs live and die by their followers and I have a loyal group of followers but a very small group.

I think I have a lot to offer and a lot of people would enjoy it and benefit.

Until next time, have a healthy and happy New Year!

I did it and I didn’t die!

What was it I did? Well, as you know, I belong to a group for TOPS. For those who don’t. TOPS stands for Taking OffTOPS_logo Pounds Sensibly. It is a weight loss support group. Each year, they have a fundraising walk. It is a way for each chapter in a given area to raise money to carry on the work of their chapter.

Today we had ours. I have done these in the past. For those who know the area, we do the path around Como Lake, in Como Lake Park. It is a 1 km trail. Don’t laugh or judge. Doing 1km for a lot of overweight people is a huge accomplishment.

So what did I do differently? I ran (well I jogged) the 1 km. I had to take a couple of short walk-breaks but I kept going and ran the trail.

Why is this such a big deal? Well when I was – shall we say – a lot heavier, I tried running to catch a bus once and it was much like someone knocked my legs out from under me. I don’t if it was my knees or my hips, but something gave out and I did a full face plant.

I lived with the memory not only of the pain, but the embarrassment, for years and swore I would never run again. In my last blog post I talk about joining a gym, and when I have been doing my cardio, I had been doing short runs, and that’s when it hit me. I was still scared.

That’s when I decided it was time to give it a run. It was not easy. I was still scared of falling but the only way I knew I could do this was to just do it (to coin a phrase).

As I came full circle back to the starting point, I was sweaty, breathing heavily and my heart was pounding, but I was also very proud of myself. I also realized I didn’t fall down and embarrass myself, I didn’t have to be perfect, it was ok to walk when I need to do so, and best of all I DIDN’T DIE!

Then to show what a real masochist I am, I then went off to the gym.

I learn a lot when I go to the gym. I am a great people watcher and the gym is an interesting place to do that. For example I watched a guy today who had a very creative routine.

textingHe went to a machine, did 3 reps, then took out his phone and sent a text or checked his mail. He then moved to the next machine and repeated this new routine.

I know I am not a gym rat. I am not one of those guys who can bench press a Volkswagen, but come on…one set of 3 reps?

As I looked around the gym, I realized he was far from alone in this. I understand using music to motivate when working out, especially with cardio which I find deadly dull.

That being said, I was stunned to see how many people had their texting-in-the-gymphones with them during their workout. My thought was “Can you not even go for a one hour workout without checking your phone?”

I think the phrase that kept coming up in my mind was “FOCUS PEOPLE!”.

When I go to the gym, it is to workout. Not to socialize, not to text or call my friends. That can wait. I am focused on my workout and what I am trying to accomplish.

There is also the interesting trend of groups of people socializing on the gym floor or tying up machines and benches while they chat with friends.

The reason I am sharing these observations is that there is a need for focus in this journey. There are so many things that can take our focus away from our healthy lifestyle including our modern technology.

It is easy to get distracted by the mundane day to day of life and before you know it, we have fallen completely off the healthy path we have worked so hard to stay on. By focusing when doing my workouts, I have started to see progress, like setting the weights higher instead of lower from the last user. I am seeing clothes that I recently bought to replace clothes that were too big, are now also too big.

To paraphrase a popular commercial “Stay focus my friends”

To change channels for a second, I am going to ask a big favour from my readers. If you are a follower of this blog, thank you. The favour? Please spread the word. Blogs live and die by their followers. That is how we bloggers know you want us to continue.

follow meIf you are a casual reader who came here because I mentioned the blog on other social media, please click the follow button and join me on this journey.

Let me know what you would like to know about on my weight loss journey. What challenges are you facing? Maybe I have been there and could provide some ideas for you.

I thank you all for being with me on this journey.

Until next time, have a healthy and happy day!

Things no one tells you about the weight loss journey.

  1. It is not easy.  I know this is a shock but the weight loss journey is not easy. How do we get the idea it is? By shows that show people losing hundreds of pounds in a matter of weeks or even a few months. We get the idea from TV pitches that say “Just take this pill and the weight will fall off” We get this idea from people flogging the latest diet book or diet shake or other “magic bullet”. The truth is that it is NOT easy but it is certainly worth it.
  2. There will be setbacks. You will have periods where the weight will fluctuate. You will even have periods where you just say “Forget all this” and you find yourself face down in a big bowl of ice-cream. It happens. I have been there. As soon as you realize you have fallen off the path, just get back on. Don’t use it as an excuse. Don’t say “Well, I made bad choices for that meal, so I guess it is all over”. Suck it up, acknowledge where you went wrong, and get back on the path.
  3. There will be plateaus. There will be times the scale seems to be stuck. This is not necessarily a bad thing. It could mean you are losing inches if not pounds. Remember, fat does NOT weigh more than muscle. A pound is a pound, but when you trade fat for muscle, that muscle takes up less space. It can also be that you body has adjusted to the food intake and exercise output. Maybe you need to shake things up a bit – either by tweaking your food plan or finding a different exercise plan. Remember it is not all about the numbers on the scale.
  4. You don’t have to do this alone. Most people are lucky enough to have family or friends to encourage them on this journey, but not everyone is so lucky. If you can’t find the support you need among family or friends, try looking to groups like TOPS (Take Off Pounds Sensibly) http://www.tops.org . There are lots of weight loss groups online – groups on Facebook etc but nothing beats being able to talk to real people in person which is where groups like TOPS come in. If you can’t find a group (or groups aren’t your thing) find a weight loss buddy. Find that accountability partner who you can meet with now and then and encourage each other. Don’t go it alone.
  5. There will be saboteurs.  This goes with number 4. I mentioned those people who do not support you. They are easy enough to avoid. If they don’t support you and go out of their way to hinder you, you just avoid them. The subtle saboteurs are the ones who aren’t blatant about it but sabotage in small ways. “Oh go ahead and have more.” “I made this especially for you” “You can’t be good all the time” and it can become more aggressive “You really think you’re special with your weight loss” “Well we aren’t all as perfect as you”. Recognize the saboteurs as you encounter them. Stick to your guns. I find for me I sometimes have to be firm, but I will simply say “No thank you. I have had enough” or “I’m good thanks”. I don’t even mention weight loss or diet. Just a polite but firm no thank you works. If they are really working at sabotaging your weight loss, you may need to go as far as to cut them out of your life.
  6. The mental battle is the toughest part. The greatest part of the weight loss battle is what goes on in our head. It is our relationship with food. When I coach people, I always say the biggest thing we have to get to is the why. Why do we over eat? Why do we make bad food choices? The big one to ask yourself is Am I really hungry? Am I really hungry or am I …fill in the blank – angry, bored, happy, frustrated, sad etc. For those of us (like myself) who deal with emotional eating, this can be the hardest part and the easiest pit to fall in. Being honest with ourselves in asking these questions will go a long way. But now I have some good things that people don’t know are part of the weight loss journey.
  7. You are going to feel better. I remember how I used to drag myself out of bed in the morning, or how I would be just plain old tired all the time. No wonder. My body had to work so hard just to do ANYTHING. As the weigh came off, my energy level got better day by day. I wake up most days feeling great and ready to tackle my day. Most of the time if I am sore when I get up, it is from exercising so it is a good sore. You will feel better, you will have energy and you will want to do things.
  8. You are going to look better. I am by no means an underwear model, but I look at photos now, and I can honestly say I have made progress and look pretty good. I avoided cameras for years because I hated how I looked, but now I am getting used to how I look now. I am trying to evict that mental image I have had stuck in my head for years.
  9. You will make new discoveries every day. I have discovered new foods, new cooking methods, new exercises and great new people all along this journey.
  10. You will discover you can do this. This will be the biggest shock, but you will learn something that some people will not have told you. You can and will do this. You will find an inner strength that no one told you you had – including yourself.

I hope you have found a little encouragement in these items, and realize you can do this.

Until next time, have a healthy and happy day.

The Vancouver Wellness Show a great resource!

I am doing something a little unusual in today’s blog. I am doing a review. I am actually excited by this because I was ASKED to visit the show and review it as a blogger, and from the point of view of my blog, namely the weight loss journey.

For those who haven’t heard of it, The Wellness Show takes place in Vancouver BC every year at the Trade and Convention Centre. It usually happens in February or March, and this year was the 23rd year so it has been around a while. It was at this Wellness Show a number of years ago I found out I was diabetic through a health screening they were doing.

I went 2 of the 3 days of the show and want to give some of my personal highlights. On this weight loss journey, I have tried to make use of all the resources I can and at the Wellness Show you are to find a lot under one roof. I was able to get a 20 minute free session with a nutritionist. Incidentally she told me I was pretty much on track, and gave me a few fine tuning tips for my eating plan. It is these kind of tools that make the weight loss journey easier.

For a reasonable fee to attend, you can get a consultation with chiropractors, massages, reflexology treatments and many more. Given the limited time and the amount of people all wanting to take advantage of these helps, you get a “taste test” as it were but certainly enough to let you decide if you want to pursue further treatment. You get to see and try and buy all kinds of healthy foods and other goodies.

There were interesting lectures to see on a number of topics, though I do admit a lot of them were a bit too “new age” for my taste but hey – to each his own right? One thing I did find interesting is that they have one lecture area specifically for topics relating to women’s health and then I thought “How come no lectures on specifically men’s health?” Then I looked around and realized women out numbered men at the show about 10 to 1. Apparently men don’t “get it” in terms of their overall health, not just their weight.

There were a lot of interesting fitness demos, from Qi Gong, to Pole Walking, Yoga, Gymnastics clubs, Zumba and more.

There were healthy cooking demonstrations and tastings, as well as a favourite of mine – the cheese tasting workshop! I am a big cheese fan. The most interesting part of all to me was walking around the booths. There was a ton of great information.

As soon as you walk in, they hand you a swag bag with all kinds of goodies, and believe me you will need the bag. Odds are you pick up a few more as you go around because you will come away with lots of freebies as well as great stuff to buy. It can be very overwhelming so I always recommend starting at one side and do each aisle up one side and then down the other. If you start criss crossing, you miss things. A word of warning though – some of the booth staff are as aggressive as pitchmen at your local fair. You just have to remain focused and if you feel people are too pushy, just politely move on. I only had to tell one pitch-person to back off. They are all their to sell their wares and I get that but some are a little aggressive is all.

One of the big sponsors in Nestor’s Markets which I found out also owns Buy Low. Those in the Lower Mainland of BC will know those names. They were giving away full boxes of healthy cereals, and I mean multiples. They had assorted flavours and wanted you to take home a full box of each flavour, as well as healthy fruit bars, teas, a large selection of gluten free products and much much more. Some found it a bit odd, but you couldn’t buy the products there. They just suggested you go to Nestor’s or Buy Low to actually purchase.

One product innovation I was excited to hear about came from Adam’s Natural Peanut Butter. I like Adam’s because all it says on the ingredient list is Peanuts. When I buy it, I have always stored it upside down so the natural oil makes it way to the bottom and doesn’t spill over when you open it. They are making a new jar effective with the lid on the bottom to make this process even easier. Commercial peanut butters often have added oil, salt and an amazing amount of sugar.

There was a booth from the Pear Growers Association giving out samples of different types of pears. There was another booth giving out shopping bags with ambrosia apples (a personal favourite of mine). There were healthy snacks. There were tea and coffee companies. There were cookware companies. There were fitness equipment companies and gyms. It was absolutely amazing.

Anything you could want to find out about healthy living and eating, it was there. People answered questions and demonstrated. They gave you tons of information to take away with you as well.

donor registryAs the fair covers all aspects of wellness – physical as well as mental and even spiritual – there some booths that even spoke to things like addictions and treatment, and a booth encouraging people to become organ donors. They told me that only 18% of eligible people in BC are organ donors. I had a sticker on my health card, and so they looked me up on line and I found I have been an organ donor since 2006. Are you registered? You can go on line and find out at http://www.transplant.bc.ca/.

The photo is me with a couple of the nice ladies at the booth.

If you are thinking of a career in health, there is lots of information on that too. There are nutrition schools, counselling schools, “life coach” schools and more. There are also tons of books for sale on all aspects of your health.

I will mention one downside, at least to me. There are quite a few booths of some stuff that I just looked at and shook my head. I won’t go into details because I don’t want to offend anyone who uses some of these “out there” techniques, especially if it works for them. My bigger concern was in the midst of this information on how to live a healthier life, there were also booths promoting and selling what I call pills, potions, shakes and shortcuts. Folks I have said this before but they don’t exist. The way to true and long lasting weight loss is eat less and move more. It’s pretty simple.quote-bruce-lee

The Wellness Show is a great investment in your health. Take the time when it rolls around next year and go with an open mind. Bruce Lee was quoted once as saying “Absorb what is useful, disgard what is not.” He was talking martial arts, but I would say approach the show the same way. Listen and learn, and if you think it will help you, then act on it. If you look at something and say “That’s not for me” that’s ok. It might be for someone else.

Every year that I go, I learn new things, try new foods, get great tips and advice and it all helps me along this weight loss journey.

Until next time, have a healthy and happy day!