FREE Weight Loss Workbook

weight loss workbook

Getting started can sometimes be the hardest part of improving your health and losing weight. Sure the motivation to lose weight may be the strongest in the beginning, but that will not carry over on its own. It wanes pretty fast for some of us.

That is why I have created a workbook designed to fire up your long-term motivation when you are first out of the gate. One that will give you a great baseline that can carry you a lot further than just getting started on your own.

These are some of the things that got me started on the right foot and I wanted to share them with you all. Even if you’re not “just starting,” and you’re just at some point in your journey where it’s getting tough for you for any number of reasons, this could be a good tool for you! And it’s free, so what could it hurt to try it?

All you have to do is click the download link and save. I suggest saving the document to work in on a computer and printing it to work with a pen as well, for best results, but it’s up to you and how you work best. If you prefer one way over the other, then that’s the way you should do it. Personally, I love both. I love my technology but it is also so refreshing to sit down with paper and pen and just let the muse take me away.

Follow this link: Downloads and click on the button below the workbook. (This is the new version, a second and better version I released on October 20th).

Feel free to send me a message, if you’d like. However, it’s not required in order to download the workbook. If you can’t get the link above to work, you can send me an email and I will send you the workbook directly. Thank you!

~Bonnie~

P.S. Check out my goals e-course: Goals to Become the Best You. It is a step-by-step guide with my help and assistance to make and pursue goals in a way that works for you! We have all felt discouraged or unmotivated to meet our goals. The trick is knowing how to go about your goals in a manner that can fuel you to move forward! Included is a 16 page workbook + guide, separate resources, and personal help through the community in the course. All this for the low introductory price of $30!

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Thriving Thursday- Establishing a Lifestyle Change

Exercise
Exercise

You’ve heard it before, likely too many times to count, that in order for your weight loss to stick you need to establish a lifestyle change. I’m here to tell you that this is absolutely true. Weight loss will not magically make it to where you can eat whatever you want or chuck exercising once you reach your goal weight. You will need to continue with these new habits you’ve created for yourself for the rest of your life. That’s not to say that you will have to exercise at the rate and intensity or restrict your calories as much as you have been to lose weight, but you will still need to keep your habits going.

“Lifestyle change” sounds so cliché to most of us by now. We see and hear it everywhere as we immerse ourselves in our weight loss efforts. I know it sounds cliché to me even though I wholeheartedly believe in it and even though my lifestyle change has become just a way of life for me. This phrase sums up all of our focus on building a healthy life for ourselves. That is our goal, to be healthy individuals and to live a fuller and higher-quality life.

Healthy eating
Healthy eating

Now you may want to know that if this is so vital to being successful, how to achieve it, so here are some tips:

  • Start small and remember each step in the right direction is progress. Make small changes and simply focus on making one good choice at a time. This way it is much more manageable.
  • Remember that slow and steady wins the race. It might sound enticing to go full force from the very beginning and keep going at that pace, but you will hit a burn out wall. So take things slow and focus on your progress. Sometimes you may feel like you’re not making any progress at all and that’s okay, as long as you keep moving forward and keep trying you will see progress soon enough.
  • Make sustainable changes- start eating and exercise habits that you can stick with long-term. Find exercise you enjoy doing and healthy foods you enjoy eating. You can change things up and try new things but don’t exercise too much or restrict your calories too much too fast.
  • Arm yourself with information. Research healthy habits, recipes that sound good, and find things that work for you. There are so many possibilities out there!
  • Keep yourself motivated- surround yourself with people who have similar goals, read blogs or articles about people who have lost weight or are losing weight currently, join weight loss websites/apps where there is no shortage of support (such as Spark People where I found just this), and keep searching for things that interest you in your new lifestyle.

That’s the simplified version. Obviously there is more to it, but some of it we all have to figure out for ourselves because we are all different. We need to find what works for us in particular. So please, don’t be discouraged if what works for someone else or what you feel should work for you doesn’t, because there is so much more out there than just that! Make your lifestyle change work for you and it will be so much easier to stick with because you will learn to enjoy it.

~Bonnie~

Thriving Thursday- The Wonders of Energy

Image source: www.photofacefun.com
Image source: http://www.photofacefun.com

Our energy is truly the best thing we have to offer ourselves and others. Without it we wouldn’t be able to work, go to school, keep up with our children and other loved ones, keep house, and so much more. Yet it can be so hard to come by for a lot of us.

It seems like no matter what I do, I still feel tired or fatigue on some level each day. This causes me to absolutely relish the times where I have even some significant energy, because it makes me feel so much more alive! I can accomplish so much more and am more efficient, not to mention just feeling happier and more content because feeling more rested is simply amazing!

There are so many factors that affect our energy that I could never even begin to list them all. However, I will list some that I personally have experienced or have observed in others:

  • Sleep, the obvious first culprit. Anything from an issue with not getting enough, to going to sleep too late or too early, and issues with sleep quality.
  • Diet is another issue. Some foods legitimately leave us feeling sluggish. Particularly processed food or foods with a lot of fat/sugar. The sugar rush might be awesome at first but once it wanes, you can come crashing back to the fatigue.
  • Health issues ranging from allergies to chronic illness or pain. These are a real drain on our energy because it takes a lot out of us to deal with these things since our bodies are fighting themselves or other organisms.
  • Weather: too hot or too cold can drain our energy as well since our bodies have to regulate their temperature.
  • Spending time with others and/or not spending enough time with others, depending on which one you thrive on (introvert or extrovert). We need to spend a good amount of time with others, either just enough or more depending on our personal needs.
  • Not spending adequate time in the fresh air and sunshine. Of course there is the good ol’ Vitamin D that we absorb from sunlight, but there is something so special about being outside in the beautiful outdoors, with nature and animals all around us that is so good for our mind, body, and spirit!
Image source: ME :)
Beautiful Nature. Image source: ME!

Now that we know some of reasons why we are so tired, all we need to do is the opposite of what we’ve been doing. Eating a diet rich of foods with healthy carbs such as whole grains and fruits, as well as protein, can provide us with the right amount of fuel. Water ties into diet and drinking more water can also help with our energy. Treating our allergies or other chronic pain and illnesses as much as we can, given what we have access to, can minimize the effect of those on us. Taking advantage of air conditioning and heaters, or fans, can help our bodies regulate temperature without as much work. And spending the right amount of time with others, as well as outdoors in nature, will benefit us all around.

Sounds simple, right? Well, we all know that these things are easier said than done. I’m a total advocate of taking things as slowly as you need to in order to better your health. So take baby steps, slowly add in more whole grains, fruits and veggies, and lean protein. Slowly increase the amount of time you set aside for sleep each night until you’re getting enough. Spend five or ten minutes outdoors if you can’t tolerate more at first.

Image source: www.bluemountain.com
Image source: http://www.bluemountain.com

Slowly but surely you will get there. You will see increases in your energy. I know when I follow these rules as best as I can, I see such a difference in my energy. With my allergies and joint pain, I know I’ll never be abounding with energy, but I’m going to keep trying to have more energy. Like I mentioned earlier, feeling more rested is an amazing feeling. It’s like a breath of fresh air!

~Bonnie~

Steady Saturday- Baby Steps

As we set out to lose weight or pursue a dream of ours, we want everything to happen now. So we jump in and start off at a run to reach our goals. The thing is though, when we start out at a run instead of taking things slow, we sabotage ourselves. A lot of us have this “all or nothing” mentality that works against us… unless we can learn how to move past it.

family-822558_1280

My suggestion to all of you is to start slow, start small. Remember the saying “Slow and steady wins the race.” Yes, it’s really true. When you begin your weight loss journey, starting out small and slow and building your way up is the best way to go.

One way to go about this is to start with a moderate exercise form. Like I mentioned in this blog, walking is a great start out exercise. You can set how far you want to go or how much time you want to walk, and adjust as time permits. You can also vary your routes and times of day you go to keep things fresh. The sunlight in the morning feels and looks different than in the evening, and both are amazing to experience while taking a tranquil but brisk-paced walk. Varying your routes will ensure that you don’t get bored of the same scenery as fast.

Some of the other exercises that fit the bill include riding a bike whether it be stationary or an actual bicycle, swimming, dancing, hiking, and some cardio machines. Anything that allows you to customize in some shape or form so you can start out slow, is a good exercise. Be aware of your own limitations if you have some sort of physical issue and adjust your first workouts accordingly.

Besides exercising, we also need to take baby steps with our nutrition. Setting small goals that we feel are doable will carry us farther than setting goals that are too big or take too long to reach. Maybe instead of jumping right in with the “5 a day” rule of fruits and vegetables, you could set a goal to have three a day at first. Or you could just break it down throughout the day and tell yourself “I will have a fruit or a vegetable with each meal and snack.” That makes the goal seem that much more achievable. If you don’t do it or don’t reach the goal, keep trying. None of us achieves all of our goals everyday at first and even later on too. It’s all a process. Other nutrition goals work the same way, start small and work your way up.

stairs

I personally have a joint problem that affects all of my joints as well as my neck, ribs, and back. So I started out with walking as I’ve mentioned, and worked my way up with both that and walking indoors with videos. It helped me a lot to start out like this. With my nutrition, I set a 3 a day goal for myself, and some days still struggle with it. Other days I get 5+ a day. It depends. I do my best though and continue to learn how to make this work for myself.

~Bonnie~