#318 Think Thin!

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Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference.

Winston Churchill

10 Ways to Think Yourself Thinner

By Cecilia H. Lee

There are no substitutes for eating healthy and regular exercise, but experts say that your frame of mind and your attitude can make a huge difference to your weight loss success. Of course, we're not suggesting hypnosis or any of that silly voodoo. We're talking about cutting out the "mental fat"—the negative thoughts and emotional baggage we carry around that keep us from being able to shed the physical fat.

It's easy for us to make excuses for not getting healthier. Whether it be emotional problems, work-related stresses, or family pressures, something will always get in the way of eating better and making time to exercise.

Family, Buddha, and Yoga

Just as losing weight and getting healthier won't happen overnight, improving your thought process will take time as well. Be patient with yourself and work at it a little bit at a time. Below we've outlined 10 methods you can use to help you think better, smarter, healthier, and thinner!

  1. VisualizeVisualize yourself thin. Imagine how you'll look 6 to 12 months down the line. If you have old pictures of your thinner self, dig them out and put them up in a prominent place (like the refrigerator or on a bulletin board in your office). Remember how you felt back then. What habits did you have then that allowed you to be healthier? See if you can incorporate your better habits from the past back into your lifestyle now. Remember to see yourself in a positive light. Having a positive attitude and being happy with yourself will be helpful in achieving your health goals.

  2. Make a list. List specific reasons why you want to lose weight. Perhaps you want to be more attractive to a certain someone, maybe you want to be able to fit into your old clothes again, or maybe you'd just like to have more energy. Whatever your personal reasons, great or small, write them all down on an index card. Look at your list every morning and carry it around in your wallet or purse. On the back of the card, write down motivating phrases to give yourself encouragement.

    Think about activities you wish you could do that you can't do because of your weight. If you can, cut out a picture of that activity from a magazine and hang it near your desk (or somewhere else that's visible), so that you'll have something to look forward to.

  3. TiredIdentify self-sabotaging thoughts. Pay attention to your negative thoughts. We all have them. They may be something like "This is too difficult," "I'll never be able to lose this much weight," or "I'm too tired." You can't stop them from entering your head but you can learn to respond to them constructively.

    Don't be overly critical of yourself—focusing on your negative aspects while minimizing your positive ones. Just because you feel or believe something doesn't actually make it true. Of course, there are no wrong or bad emotions, but identifying why something makes you feel bad can help prevent those situations in the future. If you get in the habit of identifying your self-sabotaging thoughts, you can nip them in the bud before they blow up into an ugly depression.

  4. Distract yourself from cravings. Create a list of things you can do to distract yourself from tempting food. Perhaps you can read a book, flip through a magazine, or play a video game. Or better yet, go for a walk or pop in an exercise DVD, like Turbo Jam®, 10-Minute Trainer®, or Slim in 6®. The next time a craving comes up, do one or two things on your list. You may have to do more, but eventually the craving will pass. Cravings will pass 100 percent of the time.

  5. SaladCreate small goals for yourself. Write down a list of tiny things you can do to improve your lifestyle. We all know that it's difficult to make huge changes to our lifestyles. So try accomplishing smaller goals. Try doing some of the activities listed below.

    • Take a 30-minute walk in the afternoon.
    • Eat one more serving of fruits or vegetables today.
    • Forgo that soda or glass of wine and just have a tall glass of ice water.
    • Order a side salad instead of those french fries.

  6. Replace old habits with new ones. It's easier to replace an old habit with a new habit than it is to break an old one altogether. For instance, if you have a sandwich every day for lunch, choose low-fat turkey on wheat and skip the mayonnaise. Have plain or sparkling water instead of a regular sugared or diet soda. If you like to have an afternoon snack, grab an apple or a handful of your favorite nuts instead of a candy bar. There are so many ways you can replace even entrenched bad habits with healthier good ones. Be creative and have fun with it.

  7. JournalKeep a journal. Get a little notebook and keep a log of your weight. This way you can determine what is and isn't working and track the progress you make. Also, write down what you eat. Keeping track of the foods you eat will help show patterns. You may not have realized that you eat ice cream right out of the freezer every night after dinner, but your journal will keep you honest. Just knowing that you're going to write down what you've been eating may keep you from reaching for that extra serving of mashed potatoes.

  8. Plan for the future. Every night before you go to bed, plan for the next day. Whether it be scheduling exercise in your calendar or prepacking healthy snacks (like fresh fruit, cut veggies, or low-fat popcorn), get ready for tomorrow.

    This also applies to grocery shopping. Make a list before you go grocery shopping that includes fresh fruits and vegetables you like. Replace calorie-heavy, fatty foods like chips and cookies with baked crackers or dried fruit.

    Armed with a plan and tools to help you maintain that plan, you'll have an easier time meeting your goals.

  9. MassageBe nice to yourself. When you've been good, do something nice for yourself. Reward yourself with something you enjoy (but not with food rewards, of course!). Perhaps you can enjoy a trip to a movie theatre, buy yourself a new book, or go for a foot massage.

    For instance, if you walked up the stairs to work this morning, treat yourself to a bit of Internet surfing or an online game before tackling your job. If you've lost 5 pounds, reward yourself with a new haircut. Whatever you do, give yourself rewards proportional to the goals you accomplish.

  10. Surround yourself with support. We all need emotional support, especially when times get tough. Find friends and family to help you. You may even be able to find a diet buddy or join a support group (like the Beachbody Message Boards, for example). Many studies show that having a healthy social network is better for your overall health. Dieters who have friends and family pulling for them achieve better success than those who try to go it alone.

    So pick up the phone, call a friend, and flex those mental muscles. Many happy thoughts to you!

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Cecilia H. LeeIf you'd like to ask a question or comment on this newsletter article, click here to add a comment in the newsletter review section or you can email us at mailbag@beachbody.com.

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What's Your Fitness Personality?

By Jude Buglewicz

Lifting WeightsDo you have more trouble choosing a workout program or starting the one you just bought? Are you an early morning exerciser or do you Push Play whenever you can grab a few minutes of uninterrupted time? See which of the six fitness personality types best describes you—then find out what you can do to ensure that you get your best results.

The Program Collector

You saw a Slim in 6® infomercial and eagerly ordered the product, only to stick it on a shelf unopened once you got it. Same with Power 90®. Ditto with Turbo Jam®. Your intentions were good at the time, but now you studiously avoid even looking at the DVD covers, let alone taking the discs out. It's a lot easier to keep watching TV and let time go drifting by.

Slim in 6®, Power 90®, and Turbo Jam® Maximum Results

Most common fitness lament: "I just don't feel like it."

Pitfall: No motivation. Or is it intimidation? Fear? You've never exercised regularly or, you're so out of practice, you're overwhelmed by the amount of work you think it will take. You may not have much confidence in your ability to pull it off.

Start with . . . Taking it one day at a time. Break down your overall goal of losing 35, 50, or 100 pounds into smaller, more easily attainable goals; work out for 10 minutes a day, then 15, 20, or whatever you can manage. Start slow and gradually build up to getting through a whole workout. It may take a couple of weeks. Watch Success Stories in the meantime, or check out the Photo Galleries on the Message Boards to get inspired all over again. If they can do it, so can you. Join a WOWY® Workout Group, find some Success Buddies, and set up a support system on the Message Boards. You're not in this alone.

Koko T.Proof: Koko T. "One night, bloated, tired, and I'd say overweight, I saw an infomercial for Power 90 . . . I taped the infomercial so I could watch it again. Knowing myself, and knowing I was a lazy person with limited energy, I forgot about it and tried not to think about exercise and all that nutrition stuff. [Much later] I dug up the Power 90 infomercial, and went to the Beachbody site. I read the stories, saw the products, and wanted this to happen FAST. I ordered Slim in 6 because it was only a 42-day program, but sadly, when it arrived it just sat there for close to a year. Did I mention how lazy and unmotivated I can be? I hadn't even opened the package! . . . One day . . . I did the programs, I stayed with it, [and] I followed the nutrition guidelines and logged on to the Message Boards every chance I got. It wasn't magic. I am now the 'after' photo I always dreamed of [being]."

The Constant Staller

ClockYou can't piece together a regular exercise schedule no matter how hard you try. You're forever starting and restarting programs; the chaos of daily life inevitably intervenes and knocks you off track. It seems like every day someone's birthday celebration, a special event, a personal or work obligation, or a family emergency derails your most sincere fitness intentions. You're constantly postponing or rescheduling workouts, which means you're rarely ever working out at all.

Most common fitness lament: "I just don't have time!"

Pitfall: Distractions. You haven't made fitness a priority in your life, so anything and everything takes precedence over your workout.

Start with . . . Easing into a regular workout schedule. Early mornings might make the most sense for you, since once the day starts unfolding, your chances of escaping the rising momentum of responsibilities are nil. Getting your exercise out of the way first thing means you don't have to suffer the self-loathing associated with a missed workout. You can sail through the rest of the day guilt free. Don't put too much pressure on yourself to radically change your daily routine immediately, though. Start with just two or three workouts a week, and then add more as you get used to waking up early to exercise. Once you notice how much more energized you feel on those days, you'll be on your way to establishing a regular workout schedule.

Charline B.Proof: Charline B. "To those of you who say, 'I just can't find the time to do this,' I am here to tell you that if you want this badly enough, you will do whatever it takes. I had to change my schedule and faithfully log in to WOWY (another GREAT Beachbody tool!) at 4:30 AM six days a week to get in my workouts. Trust me, I am NOT a morning person, but this way I KNOW I'll get in my workout. No excuses. The changes in my life have made it worth whatever it takes."

The Valiant Struggler

The Valiant StrugglerYou exercise four to six times a week but hardly ever at the same time of day. You grab 20 minutes here, 40 minutes there, fitting in a workout whenever you can. Or maybe you've got a regular workout time, but your fitness "regimen" is all over the place—no rhyme or reason as to why you choose a sculpting or cardio routine. You do whatever workout fits your time frame or suits your daily mood—or spills out of the DVD cabinet.

Most common fitness lament: "I'm not seeing results!"

Pitfall: No game plan. Or no intensity.

Start with . . . A specific goal. Do you want to lose a certain number of pounds? Get your waist down to a certain number of inches? Fit into a specific dress or suit size? To sneak a little order into your routine while preserving your need for flexibility, try programs like Power Half Hour® and Slim Series®—they provide different kinds of workouts that you can customize to your needs, as well as recommended weekly plans, allowing you to add more cardio or targeted sculpting workouts depending on your goal. To ramp up the intensity, you can try working out with a progress tool like a heart rate monitor.

Proof: Anna Eriksson, Beachbody Product Development Director. "It wasn't until I strapped on my first heart rate monitor that I realized I'd been babying myself for quite a while. Later, I was asked to try a couple of workouts using a particular resistance band, a heavier band than I normally use. And what do you know? When I stopped, my arms felt . . . not sore . . . but worked—just by Pushing Play and ramping up the intensity."

The Intellectual Benchwarmer

The Intellectual BenchwarmerYou know all about the benefits of exercise and the hazards of obesity. You read fitness columns every day, subscribe to health magazines, and may even spend hours online chatting with other like-minded folks, soliciting advice and tips about fitness and nutrition. You spend so much time thinking or reading about working out that you hardly have the time or desire to actually do it.

Most common fitness lament: "I need more information!" or "I don't know how to do it right!"

Pitfall: You think too much.

Start with . . . Just doing it, to paraphrase the Nike slogan. Stop worrying and studying and start Pushing Play. Because intellectualizing exercise is your forte, it'll probably be easy for you to maintain an exercise journal. Try to keep it simple, and use it as a tool to track your progress over time. Make sure you give yourself a chance to experience the process before you rush to analyze every ache and pain and then talk yourself out of doing your program every day. It's great to be interested in fitness and to be aware of all its benefits—so long as you get away from your computer or put down the magazines long enough to actually work up a good sweat.

Ronald M.Proof: Ronald M. "As a registered nurse, I'm fully aware of the negative health consequences of obesity and inactivity. Yet, I still did not exercise and my waistline continued to get larger year by year. My eating habits were atrocious; I would eat whatever, whenever (many times after midnight), and as much as I could eat. Every summer for the past 7 years I've told myself, 'This is the year I'm getting in shape!' Power 90 works because Beachbody has laid everything out for you. Follow the workouts and the diet guidelines and you will succeed. After 90 days, I lost a total of 25 lbs."

The Socializer

SocializersBesides Pushing Play, you're chatting with a program trainer a few times a week and setting up workout times with your WOWY Buddies. You may be a Beachbody Coach or a regular at Tony Horton's Fitness Camps. You share advice and maintain connections on the Message Boards. You post your progress photos every few weeks and have a solid support network. After all, it's easier to stay committed if you're accountable to people. And it's worth even more if your experience can make a positive difference in someone's life.

Most common fitness lament: "My Internet connection is too slow!"

Pitfall: There really isn't a downside to this one—unless your fitness routine is solely dependent on others.

Start with . . . Making sure you're self-accountable. It's wonderful that you're sharing your fitness success or offering support to others—we wish there were lots more like you! You probably have what it takes to motivate yourself and Keep Pushing Play, but just in case you found yourself stranded somewhere indefinitely without an Internet connection . . . you'd know what to do, right?

Tony B.Proof: Tony B. "I have renewed vitality and vigor combined with a whole new outlook on diet and life [after completing Power 90]. Never in my life have I been in this good of shape, not even when I was in boot camp . . . I would like to thank the fitness advisors for their prompt answers to questions and to all the people I have talked to on the Message Boards. [ . . . ] I would like to share my experience with as many people as are willing to listen. Because of my cardiac limitations, I feel I can help people who are feeling timid about not being able to keep up or that might have to adjust and modify certain exercises to suit their specific needs."

The Autopilot

Dumbbell WorkoutYou've established the habit of exercising almost every day, at the same time each day. You follow workout programs to a T. Exercise is a priority and you schedule your day around it. You're self-motivated and you manage your time extremely well.

Most common fitness lament: "I'm bored," or "I'm not seeing results anymore."

Pitfall: Plateaus or even injuries. Working out the same muscle groups week after week in the same way may create imbalances or weaknesses in opposing muscle groups that could lead to injuries.

Start with . . . Mixing it up. When you get bored with the same old thing, or you're stuck at a certain weight, or you stop seeing results, you know it's time to make some changes, either in your workout intensity, your diet, or both. Try incorporating new fitness gear into your usual routine—a balance ball, a sculpting band, a heart rate monitor, weights, or weighted gloves—or else change fitness programs altogether. Switch to a more advanced workout series, try a different trainer, or alternate workouts from different programs. Or turn to others who've been through the same thing to infuse you with inspiration or jump-start your motivation.

Jimmy F.Proof: Jimmy F. "Meeting Tony in Hawaii was a really motivating experience. I also met Beachbody's Mike Karpenko, who gave me some awesome tips on the P90X Nutrition Plan and how to make it really work for me this time around. I met Dale C., who got totally fantastic results from Power 90 and P90X, and talking to him really lit a fire under me. So I came back from that trip ready to commit and really BRING IT for a full 90 days!!!! The workouts were new to me all over again."

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"8 Ways to Know If You're Fit"
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If you'd like to ask a question or comment on this newsletter article, click here to add a comment in the newsletter review section or you can email us at mailbag@beachbody.com.

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Test Your Watermelon IQ!

By Joe Wilkes

August is National Watermelon Month! How much do you know about this picnic favorite?

  1. EgyptWhere was the first recorded watermelon harvest? The first harvest is believed to have occurred in Egypt over 5,000 years ago. Watermelon was reportedly first grown in the Kalahari Desert.

  2. How much of the watermelon is actually water? A full 92 percent of the watermelon is water. In fact, the fruits were historically used as canteens.

  3. ArkansasWhat was the biggest watermelon ever grown? The world record holder is Lloyd Bright of Hope, Arkansas, who grew a 268.8-pound watermelon in 2005. That weight is even more than Hope's other famous export, former president Bill Clinton.

  4. How are square watermelons made? In Japan, a technology was developed to grow watermelons in square glass boxes. This made the watermelons easier to stack. Watermelons are even more popular in Asia than in the U.S. China consumes 30 times as many watermelons as the U.S.

  5. VitaminsWhat two vitamins are watermelons highest in? Vitamins A and C. Watermelons are also good sources of potassium, magnesium, and lycopene. Watermelons (especially the rind) have high levels of citrulline, an amino acid that can produce Viagra-like effects in its consumers.

If you'd like to ask a question or comment on this newsletter article, click here to add a comment in the newsletter review section or you can email us at mailbag@beachbody.com.

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