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Elaine Murphy

Elaine Murphy

Monday, 17 September 2018 13:57

Making Exercise Really Stick!

Changing a lifestyle habit can be really tough, especially if it's keeping exercise consistent, and/or ifyou hate to exercise!!! But you know it will help with your weight loss and even more importantly, it benefits your health is so many other ways. Here are some real simple, no fail  tips on how to get going once and for all:
1. One of the best ways is make a habit is to make a solid ritual with it. Remember that habits are behaviors that you simply repeat over an over so they become really engrained, you want to make exercise something that, at least initially, is very mindless and that can ultimately become just automatic for you. Basically, the whole idea with this is that you have to find a fool proof easy way to keep it consistent enough to really develop into a solid habit, ideally something you don't even have to think about except for the time and day.
One way of doing just this is to set a very specific day, with a very specific time that you can, and will do an activitiy (Example): Every week, I will exercise on (day of week)______ at (time of day)______. This is your promise to yourself that you will absolutely follow through with it, and not let anything else interfere with it. Make it like an appointment that you cannot break no matter what! Research actually proves that if you use this kind of strategy with yourself you are actually 2-3 times to be successful compared to those who don't set this up.
2. Don't forget to make the activity super easy to implement! This supports setting up the ritual of exercising so much easier. This is the important aspect to all this, it just has to is a very easy and very doable for you. Make it at a time that you can actually do something, even if it’s just 10 minutes twice a week. It has to simply be soooooo easy to do you can't possibly fail with it. This means no major commitments to a gym or trainer, just a simple 10 minute a day walk, 2 times a week. With this easy, peasy plan you just cannot possibly fail and that sets up the habit part in place. Think about it, something is so easy you no longer have excuses to keep you from doing it, and you are much more likely to be successful in accomplishing this mini goal.
 3.Truly focus on forming the habit of activity first …..and then focus on the results later. Most people will take the approach to exercise is to get results. Sure this goal setting aspect is really important but if you have struggled and failed too many times in the past, and you have never been really successful, you might need to turn things around and focus on the HOW TO (action, strategy), first instead. Focus on just not missing those 10 minute workouts initially so you can keep the momentum going. Once you are habit bound and are doing the 10 minutes, twice a week, you can always increase both the amount of time you are exercising, and how many times a week you can implement your activity. (It’s also helpful to pick something you actually enjoy. Most people do in fact enjoy walking so it might be good to start with that, but if there’s something else you like more, [like dancing for example], then do it!)
Now just to be clear here, here is the basic difference between a habit and a real strategy, or an action plan, to develop the ultimate habit with real lasting results:
• Say you are a writer and the goal is to write a book. The action plan or strategy behind that given goal is to develop a definite writing schedule (similar to exercise), writing for so many minutes a day, every day.
• If you're a regular walker already, your goal might be is to participate in an upcoming marathon. Your action plan for being able to walk that far and long, is to set up your specific training schedule for the weeks and month ahead, while increasing the speed and how far you can walk every week, so you can complete the marathon successfully in a reasonable time frame.
The idea is that once you build your basic core habit of exercise, then you can literally find numerous ways to improve on it. But without developing a real consistent small habit change first, (10 minutes a few times a week) no goal will really work well.
 "Those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything." - George Bernard Shaw
This might actually be one more warning to make sure both you and your children manage your weight:
Wednesday, 12 September 2018 15:02

The Real Need for Vitamin D - For Weight Loss Too!

Past research has shown that a relationship exists between increased body mass index (BMI) and vitamin D deficiency. 
Tuesday, 11 September 2018 09:02

NOT Healthy Snacks!

As a nutritionist I am always on the lookout for tricks that food manufacturers employ. Today I'm discussing a few of those foods that trick consumers all the time.
This is probably no big surprise, but did you know more than 23 million children and teenagers in the U.S are obese or overweight? Hence, September is National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month. But obesity isn't the only problem because being overweight is related to so many other health concerns.
To me it's obvious that healthy habits are just naturally linked to better overall wellbeing and mental health. According to the BMC Public Health, August 2018 study with a group of obese school children, researchers observed that being active, and eating more fruits and vegetables each day is associated with a lower risk for poor wellbeing and depression. The data shows that participants who engaged in 60 minutes of vigorous play three times a week and ate at least five servings of fruits and vegetables per day were more than 60% less likely to experience either poor wellbeing or depressive symptoms. Go here for more tips on how to support your child with healthier eating and being more active.
So, all this being said, just remember again, it's all the other health risks related to being overweight (heart disease, diabetes, etc.), both physical and emotional, that we want to avoid by keeping our weight, and our children’s weight, normal. And note, even if your child might be thin, if he/she is still eating an unhealthy diet it still affects the body in negative ways.
When I think of unhealthy eating with children and adolescents my mind goes to all the mass school shootings going on. Could unhealthy eating/lack of exercise be another link to all this? I think so. Wouldn't it be interesting to know what these underage shooters ate on a regular basis.
For additional information, and a simply great resource to get you kids off on the right track with healthy eating and exercise is an older book of Dr. Sears called L.E.A.N. Kids, for children ages 6-11, although anyone (regarless of age) interested in basic nutrition can really benefit from it. It supports parents in how to help their kids eat right to be healthy children, and it's not exclusive to weight loss, it's about gaining real health benefits. Read the reviews on Amazon as it tells you just how great the book really is.
"We need to encourage our kids to love to eat real food - Less fast food. Less junk food. And they need to see US eating healthy by example." -Karen Salmanschan
Tuesday, 21 August 2018 11:32

Labor Day 2018

Labor Day in the United States is a public holiday celebrated on this first Monday in September. It's actually the last celebration of summer, even though school has already started for most. 
Sunday, 19 August 2018 10:15

Lesson from David Thoreau: on Change

How about a little philosophical help on change, from Henry David Thoreau (July 12, 1817 – May 6, 1862)? He was an American essayist, poet, philosopher, abolitionist, naturalist, tax resister, development critic, surveyor, and historian. Many aspire to his brilliant ideas. You can too....
Thursday, 16 August 2018 18:24

What Makes You Successful with Weight Loss?

Most social events around food involve making mistakes and slipping up around your diet plan. Some people don't plan well and then eat the wrong foods because the right foods are not available. Some simply fall back into old unhealthy eating behaviors. There are those who give in to the all or nothing trap and really get off track or even give up entirely. Yet, many still learn from their mistakes and eventually get to their goals despite these challenges. So why is one person successful and the other a "failure?"
Thursday, 16 August 2018 17:55

"I know what to do, I just don't do it."

The other day I met with a patient I hadn't met before although she had been on the plan well over a month with little weight loss. She wasn't doing well but she did not immediately tell me what the problem was. I kept gently prodding and probing but the only answer she kept repeatedly giving me was, "It’s just me, I know what to do and I just need to do it."
Wednesday, 15 August 2018 18:51

Hazards of Consuming Processed Meats

Do you really want to eat healthy foods? Then you need to limit the amount of all processed foods you eat as much as possible. And, among processed foods, processed meats may get the prize for biggest health risk.
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*Disclaimer: Results are typical but not guaranteed. Your actual results may vary. Real CalMWM patients shown with permission.

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