Goal(s): Lose a combined total of 150 lbs
Six months ago, Laura Meier joined LifeVest, and set out with her husband Brice on a mission to lose weight. They planned a trip to the Caribbean as motivation, and began making significant changes that would move them towards their goals. Each now two clothing sizes smaller and two energy levels higher, the two set sail this week and are ready to celebrate.
“We’re looking forward to enjoying [the trip] together and being motivated to continue on,” says Laura who’s over halfway to her goal of losing 50 pounds. Brice has exceeded the halfway point towards his goal, too, down 65 pounds and on his way to 100.
Laura was initially motivated by the opportunity to earn money through LifeVest. However, this quickly became merely an added benefit of the experience. She earned a FitBit early into her program and soon after bought Brice one too, and it was at this point that Laura decided to make her LifeVest journey one that would last for life. Together, the couple began powering up their step count, and benefiting from the results.
“Brice has problems with sciatic nerves and back pain, and he used to hardly be able to make it to the corner with me,” says Laura. “Now, he’s sometimes walking 40,000 steps per day because he’s feeling so much better by getting the weight off and getting active.”
Through the weight loss, Brice has been able to relieve some of the pressure from his knees and back, and Laura says she feels better about herself than ever before. They’ve decided they won’t be stopping once they reach their weight loss goal, but instead continuing to find new ways they can lead a healthier life together. Laura shares some advice on what’s worked for them so far, and how her and Brice are make the changes together.
Angela Delgado, 28, Compliance Analyst at JetBlue Airways
Her goals: Drop weight and tone up overall
At the start of LifeVest, Angela Delgado was the heaviest she’d ever been. She was unhappy with how she felt and looked, and decided enough was enough. Using LifeVest as the trigger, she set out on a mission to lose 30 pounds and hasn’t looked back since.
Now, six months into the program and ten pounds slimmer, Angela says her health journey has become so much more than a desire to lose weight.
“The goal now of hitting my target weight is just an added benefit,” she explains. “The whole experience has become about more than seeing the numbers drop and the weight come off. This is now a long-term lifestyle for me. It’s about feeling healthy, and making that a part of my life, for life.”
Angela used her commitment to LifeVest as motivation to start trying out a bunch of fitness classes. She was determined to find one she actually enjoyed, knowing that this would be a crucial part of making sure she’d stick with it. After trying a few different activities, eventually she came across boot camp classes. It was a discovery that has made her fall in love with fitness. Angela enjoys the variety that the sessions offer, and partnered with her participation in LifeVest, says she feel like “a whole new woman”. Below, she shares her story and some tips to inspire others to turn their life around, too.
Her goal: To lose 100 pounds by her 50th birthday next year
Four years ago, Rene Worthey experienced a wake-up call. Her mother, who had suffered from heart disease and obesity, passed away, which left Rene thinking about her own health, especially in relation to her two children.
“Those last few months with my mom, they were very difficult,” she says. “I didn’t want to put my kids through that. There were a lot of things that I had to do for my mom that no mother wants their kid to have to do for them.”
At the time, Rene was dealing with weight issues of her own as she slowly watched the scale go up and her energy go down. Rene contributes much of this to her diet, which prior to LifeVest, Rene says was 90% composed of meals from fast food restaurants. Like many busy individuals, she loathed cooking and so she let her stove sit idle and placed her health on its back burner.
“It’s very easy, quick and cheap to get stuff you don’t need, and because of that you really have to plan ahead,” says Rene, who now prepares most of her meals at home. Down 30 pounds in just eight months, she’s on a mission to turn her health around, and with it, she’s turning her life around, too.
Since starting the LifeVest program, Rene set out with a goal to lose 100 pounds, and is driven to hit that target by her 50th birthday next year. She plans to celebrate with what became a challenging activity in recent years, amusement park rides, and says with a smile, “My hope is that when I hit 50, there’s going to be a whole new me. I’m really looking forward to being a super fine, good-looking, healthy 50-year-old.”
With her positive attitude and healthy enthusiasm for spinach, here at LifeVest, we have no doubt she’ll be able to achieve that goal. Read the rest of this entry »
Tailgating – let’s not make it a gateway for sitting on your sofa and growing your tail.
Instead, let’s make it a social celebration that can actually give benefit to your body. The NFL’s 2014-2015 season got underway last Thursday, also kicking off the season for one of our favorite activities – fall tailgating. However, fill it with too many six-packs (unless referring to the abdominal variety), and too much pizza (unless referring to these 8 versions), and it can quickly become one of our tail’s – er, booty’s – worst nightmares.
Instead, follow our LifeVest guide to tailgating this season so you can fill up on fun without letting your weight rival that of your favorite NFL linebacker. Below, find a game-plan that’ll coach you off the couch from time to time, while also letting chow down on some of your favorite celebratory food. We want you to wake up feeling like a champ all season rather than crap. Let’s get to it.
By Emma Fogt, MBA, MS, RD, LDN, FAND
Recent studies suggest just like catching a cold, stress is contagious. It can travel in social circles, from one person to another, like a germ that floats from one coworker to the next. Personal stress not only affects ourselves, but can also infect our friends, our families, and even strangers nearby.
Here’s an example from my own life: I remember being on a BOLT bus getting ready to depart to NYC. Suddenly the driver went A-wall on a poor passenger who placed his bag on an empty seat. The driver was flailing his arms, swearing at the passenger and screaming at the top of his lungs for the passenger to get off the bus. The inadvertent result? I was so stressed out that I felt sick to my stomach! As the passenger got off the bus – so did I. I had absorbed that secondhand stress of the driver and passenger, and it had infected my body and mind.
Now let’s take a look at a research-backed example: Researchers from NYU and the Emotion Health and Physiology Laboratory at the University of San Francisco have studied how mother’s stress levels affect their babies. In their study, mother’s stress levels were measured with an EKG to see if their babies absorbed their personal stress signals. As it turned out, the baby’s sympathetic responses did match their mother’s stress levels. If mothers were more stressed, their own heart rates went up, as did the rates of their baby’s.
Stress can be hard to avoid, which is why it’s important to be mindful of both how you let it affect you and of others around you. On the bright side, there are lots of strategies and mechanisms you can utilize to minimize its impact in your life. By controlling your stress levels, you can boost your own health and energy, and simultaneously reduce the secondhand stress you may transfer onto others.
Here are three ways to handle the contagious stress that might be thrown your way:
- Avoid stressful situations. Yes, this is obviously easier said than done, but if you know a certain situation or environment places a repeated negative tension on your life, seek alternatives. Don’t needlessly walk into a pressurized situation if there are better options out there.
- Determine how you will react to stress. Instead of letting stress stick to you like Velcro, just imagine, you are made of Teflon. The stress just slides off. You don’t absorb it, but instead block it from your mind so that you can fill yourself with positive energy. What you don’t let get to you can’t control your life (or health!).
- Use coping mechanisms like meditation and deep breathing to refocus your energy and move away from the tension that stress can bring. When you feel your palms start to get sweaty, your head start to throb, or perhaps your anxiety levels start to skyrocket, stop for a moment and evaluate from where these symptoms are coming. Take a deep breath. Take two deep breaths. If you can, take 3 minutes of deep breaths, and feel how this simple act can center and refuel you. Then, remind yourself, you can take charge of the situation, and that anything can be accomplished when you slow down and take one step at a time.
Emma Fogt, MBA, MS, RD, LDN, FAND is a Wellness Expert, Speaker & Author. She is seen as a Nutrition Expert in the local media and enjoys cooking up a storm with corporations via Culinary Team Building. Her programs offer leaders and emerging leaders talks, webinars and workshops on wellness, wellbeing and work-life fit. Emma is an active member of Nutrition Entrepreneurs (Chair 2012-13), The National Speaker’s Association and a Fellow of the Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics. Emma’s first book published by ewomenwellness is entitled: Having YOUR All, How Self-Care Leads to an Energized, Empowered and Effective Life!
While it’s not possible to predict for certain the final outcome of the Superbowl game, you can guarantee a win for your body. Take some conscious steps before and during game-day celebrations, and you can be sure to feel like a champion, no matter how the game plays out.
Don’t believe me? Think of it this way: feeling physically good when the 4th quarter concludes will make a win from your favorite team feel that much better. And if your team loses? Walking around the following day with a headache and a sense of heaviness will only make that loss feel worse.
Stick to these simple tips to keep it healthy on Superbowl Sunday, and wake up the next morning a winner.
Wake up and work it out: Fit in some of your own on-field running before the social festivities begin. Starting the day off right can set a healthy tone for the remainder of your day. Hit the gym. Take a run. Go to a yoga class. You name the exercise of your desire. The key is to get moving before hours of TV time follow and tempting snacks fill the room. Then head into an afternoon of watching others sprint their butts off, knowing you’ve already sweated it out yourself.
Get cookin’, good-lookin’: Superbowl parties tend to be filled with lots of calorie-heavy snacks. While you can’t stop your friend from bringing his favorite 7-layer-burrito dip, you can make sure to show up with a healthy side of your own. Guarantee there’s at least one nutritious and delicious option on the table by cooking up your own touch-down treat. For some ideas to get started, check out FitSugar’s roundup of lightened up SuperBowl fare.
Utilize the water cooler: There’s nothing like kicking back with a beer once the first kickoff goes down. If planning to consume a brew or two, however, make sure to be mindful of moderation and to alternate with water. Make a goal to consumer one full glass per quarter. And when you’re feeling thirsty, reach for a glass of H20 first before allowing yourself to have a beer. This will keep you conscious of how much alcohol you are consuming throughout the evening so that Monday morning isn’t clouded by a hazy fog and your own bloated stomach. (Also take a peek at what Men’s Health list of top recommended low-cal Beers, here.)
Fumble away certain foods: Football players on average consume 3,000-7,000 calories per day.There will undoubtedly be some food on the table that’s best left to the other players around you. (Although, we recommend you encourage them to eat healthily with you, too.) Don’t drop the ball on your body by filling up on unhealthy choices. Instead, try to steer clear of fried foods, and opt to fill at least 3/4’s of your plate with options from the veggie plate or fruit bowl. Save the last 1/4 for a treat of your choice, and eat slowly to fully savor it. Also, be weary of dips, which are often mayonnaise or cream cheese laden and filled with a surprising amount of calories. The 150 added calories from a can of soda is also an easy option to sidestep.
Get up and cheer: To combat too much couch-sitting, get up and root from your feet ever so often. Designate commercial breaks as a time to hop up and move around. Grab a glass of water, or simply walk around the room a bit. During game-play, let someone else have your chair for a few minutes and sit down on the floor and stretch. Every bit of movement counts.
Walk and talk: Consider asking your friends/family to take a walk with you and continue enjoying the time with those around you. Get some fresh air by walking around the neighborhood. Use it as a time to exchange thoughts about the game or catch up on what’s in store for next week. A post-game stroll is a good way to wake back up, get your energy flowing, and walk off some of that food and drinking from the afternoon. Hit the streets so you can send yourself home feeling refreshed.
Hit the water cooler (again): Just like your favorite team’s players, you should revisit the water cooler throughout the day, and make sure to rehydrate post-game. Superbowl food is often salty, and alcohol is a diuretic, meaning it interferes with the balance of salts and water in the blood and can cause dehydration. This is what triggers headaches, hangovers and fatigue. Stay pumped up by fueling up with extra water.
By Lizzie Myers
Happy New Year! On this last day of the year, now is the time to think back on the greatest moments of 2013 and look forward to an even happier 2014. For most people, personal health is a priority and there is always room for improvement. Whether it’s weight loss, heart health, or better sleep, it’s important to stick to your health resolutions. As the excitement of the New Year fizzles out, so will the crowd at the gym and the deals on health programs. The key is to keep your resolutions from fizzling too. How can you do this, you ask? Try these tips out!
Be Specific – Turn An Idea into an Achievable Action
While “lose weight” or “get more sleep each night” are great goals to set, they are far more difficult to accomplish in absence of a plan. Ask yourself: How exactly can I reach these results? For example, one might replace “get more sleep each night” with “lights out by 11pm every night” or “no electronics after 9pm.” With a concrete and reasonable approach in mind, a health resolution, and any resolution for that matter, becomes much more manageable.
Make it a Routine from the Get-Go
Everyone has some semblance of a routine in their life, no matter how disorganized you think you are. Many of us wake up, go to work, eat 3 meals per day, and go to sleep around the same time during the workweek. A daily routine depends on what an individual’s priorities are, and all secondary tasks are planned around that routine. For this reason, aim to make your resolution part of your daily routine, installing it as a mandatory part of your day. Want to lose weight? Throw a gym bag in your car before heading out the door and hit the gym after work. It will likely take some effort to initially create the habit, but come February, you’ll see that habit start to cement.
Sign Up for Something
If you’re one to get bored easily or lack motivation, make each workout feel like an adventure. Now is the time to sign up for nutrition programs or fitness classes, and try something new. With so many people resolving to improve their health, there are deals galore in the world of wellness at this time of year. Once you commit money towards one of these programs, it’ll be hard to let that go to waste!
From all of your friends at LifeVest, we wish you a healthy and happy New Year! Don’t be afraid to set goals. Every accomplishment starts with the decision to try. We’ll be here to help motivate you along the way.