Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Challenge Week #3: Success Can Be Habit-Forming

It's been said that it takes 21 days to form a habit. Well, by the end of this week we will have completed 21 days of focusing on strength, flexibility, and body fat! Are you feeling new habits starting to form? Here are some ways to ingrain habits into your day no matter what your goal may be.

Start small. Focus on changing just one habit a time. Start with the easiest and go from there!

Write it down. We learned how to write great goals in our goal-setting session, but if you need a refresher, just ask!

Know your motivations. What got you started? Revisit that place often!

Identify your triggers, and choose ahead of time a positive response you’re going to do instead of the one you're trying to avoid.
Get rest. Will power is more of a muscle than a skill, and it needs rest. Pay attention to when you feel your resolve wavering, and take a small break. Then, get back into the game!

If you fail, figure out what went wrong, plan for it, and try again.

What are you doing today to ingrain healthier habits? Set a reminder on your phone to stretch, schedule your strength workouts on your calendar, and start logging your meals ahead of time in www.MyFitnessPal.com each evening for the next day. The more consistently you do the things that lead to success, the sooner they will become part of how you live your life.

Remember, every journey has a detour or two, and u-turns are allowed! Keep making progress and letting better health become a habit!

Monday, May 19, 2014

Challenge Week #2: Success Favors the Prepared Mind

Hello Challengers! Welcome to Week 2 of the Visit Florida Strength and Flexibility Challenge! I hope you are having a great time.

In your emails and conversations, a consistent theme is bubbling up: being prepared. We're talking about preparing food ahead of time, getting organized for a workout, and finding time to stretch. 

Have you heard the adage, "success favors the prepared mind?" It means, simply, that when you are prepared, you are more likely to be successful! Also, that when you are in a constant state of preparedness, opportunities to be successful are less overwhelming because you are ready.

Here are some ways you can be prepared for success in each of your goals:

Strength and Resistance
Finding time to work out can be a challenge, especially if you travel a lot or have a family to care for. 
  • Make sure your resistance bands and a workout DVD are in your suitcase ready to be packed for your next trip. 
  • Keep a gym bag at work and stock it with plenty of clean workout gear so you're ready to walk or grab a class when the opportunity strikes. 
  • Break your workout into three 10-minute segments of exercise. Yes, it counts! This list of 50 body weight exercises you can do anywhere makes it easier.
It's easy to skip stretching, but doing stretches that make you feel good brings an extra reward to the idea of stretching! Be prepared by printing out these 4 Feel-Great Stretches You Have to Try and keeping them handy for when you have a minute or two to stretch.

If you're having a hard time getting disciplined about stretching, attach stretching to a habit you already have. For example, you (hopefully) already have the habit of brushing your teeth at night. Adding a minute or two of stretching right afterwards makes it easier to stretch without adding a whole new element to your day. Everyone has one minute to spare at some point in the day!

Body Fat
Many of us working on body fat are using www.MyFitnessPal.com to track calories and meals. Be prepared by logging what you plan to eat at the beginning of the day, or at the end of the day before. This success tip does a few great things: it forces you to think through your day and notice any potential obstacles to good eating (oh yeah, I have a lunch appointment tomorrow!), it sets the tone for a healthy day, and it takes one more step in convincing your brain that you have already done the healthy things!

Being prepared takes some advanced thinking, but you're already halfway there. I'm looking forward to hearing how you fool-proof your day and achieve those healthy goals!

Stay strong!

Monday, May 12, 2014

Challenge Week #1: Healthy On the Road

Hi Challengers! Thank you for sharing your goals and progress with me. I love hearing about the ways you are seizing opportunities, and also your questions. This week, I am hearing a lot about how much all of you travel, both for work and for play, and your need to stay healthy on the road.

Here are some resources that may help!

33 Resistance Band Exercises You Can Do Anywhere
Whether you're in your office or in a hotel room, a resistance band is one of the easiest pieces of fitness equipment you can pack. These exercises are completely portable, easy, and adaptable to every fitness level.

8 Simple Office, Car, or Airplane Stretches 
Stretching doesn't have to mean setting aside 20 minutes for a whole routine. You can stretch while you're driving, waiting, or even standing in line. It's all about being prepared and taking the opportunity. Print these out or jot them down on a notepad that you can stash somewhere. 

Five Great Apps for Stretching 
Download one of these apps for stretching on the road! They walk you through the exercises and can help you decompress after a long day on the trade show floor.

Success favors the prepared mind! When you travel, you lose some of the control you usually have over your food choices. But, you retain more control than you think! 

Healthy and Portable Fridge-free Snacks
Travel-friendly snacks can come to the rescue when you're hungry but don't want to eat high-calorie catered meals. Always make sure your snacks include a protein, a carb, and a fat to help keep you full longer. 

Watch those portions! Eating on the road usually means huge portions of food that is prepared for large groups, which means lots of fat and sodium. Be liberal when estimating your portions and look for opportunities to fill up on fresh veggies and fruit, and eat meals that are as simple as possible. When you get home, make sure your office and house is stocked with a few staples to get you going until you can go shopping for healthy food.

Staying healthy on the road is possible with some planning, creativity, and determination. Choose one area where you can make an improvement in your on-the-road habits, and give it a shot the next time you travel!

I love hearing about your goal progress! Email me at heather (at) wellnesswithoutpity (dot) com and let me know how it is going!

Saturday, May 3, 2014

You Took the Challenge!

Welcome to the Visit Florida Strength and Flexibility Challenge! Over the next 8 weeks we will be working on creating the habits that will lead to greater strength and endurance, flexibility, and a leaner body mass. Those include regular exercise, stretching, and optimum nutrition. 

Along the way, you'll learn the fundamentals of how to shed body fat, become more flexible, and improve your muscle tone and strength. And, you'll also learn how to establish the habits that create those outcomes every single day, so you can keep achieving great goals that make your life amazing.

Thank you for coming yesterday for your initial assessment. Soon, you'll receive information related to the goal you set, and you may hear from me now and then to check in with you. Please feel free to reach out to me, as well, and let me know how it is going!

Here is what you can expect:

  • Customized and general information about your goal, whether it is flexibility, strength/endurance, or decreasing your body fat.
  • A morning Daily Dose message for healthy motivation to start your day.
  • Weekly tips, education, links, and news about area events that may be of interest. These will come in a weekly email that will also link back to this page for additional resources.
If at any time you are receiving too much email, just reply to let me know!

This site has been developed as an online resource for you, so visit often for tips, links to resources, motivation, and reminders. For now, check out the pages set aside for each goal, and ask yourself: "What can I do today to move closer to my goal?" Remember, we don't have to get it right, we just have to get it started!

If you have questions, leave a comment or email me, the Challenge Coach, Healthy Heather: heather (at) wellnesswithoutpity (dot) com.

Welcome to the challenge, and have fun!


  1. This is an eight-week challenge running from May 7 – June 27, 2014.
  2. Participants will set a goal to improve their strength, flexibility, or body fat.
  3. Participants who meet their goal will receive 4 Will's Bills.
  4. Must be present on May 7 to record initial benchmarks and June 27 to record final benchmarks.
  5. Flexibility will be assessed with the following tests: shoulder reach, side bend, sit-and-reach, hip flexor extension, and inner thigh stretch.
  6. Strength will be assessed with the following tests: push-ups (for repetition), sit-ups (for repetition), wall sit (for time), bicep curl (for repetition), and plank (for time).
  7. Body fat will be assessed by using a hand-held body fat measurement device.
  8. Improvements will be judged according to whether the participant has made progress in becoming more flexible, stronger, or more lean.
  9. Assignment of Will’s Bucks will be awarded based on the participant’s improvement and completion of the challenge.