Are You Struggling With Your Habits?

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It is easier to add a good habit to one’s life than to discontinue a bad one.

- Mama Gena

I just love this! How many times do you try to break a bad habit, only to fail? Think about it… take a moment to write down all of your bad habits you are trying to break to reach your health goals.

Here are some examples:

  • stop eating dessert
  • give up read meat
  • avoid dairy
  • stop watching tv instead of exercising
  • give up chocolate

Ok, already this list depresses me. If I woke up every day telling myself, “Ok, today is the day I’m going to give up chocolate,” I would not want to get out of bed. Instead, start making a list of all of the good habits you can add. If you’re goal is to get more fiber, what’s one food you can add today to get more fiber. If you’re goal is to exercise more, what’s one activity you can do today. Don’t worry about the rest of the week. Take it day by day and focus on today! I wake up every morning and say, “Today I’m going to move my butt!” And then I get out of bed and I do some stretches, maybe some sit-ups if I have the time, or some calf raises in the kitchen while I’m cooking breakfast. It takes about 10 minutes, but I feel good knowing that at least I moved somewhat today! And more often than not, it motivates me to want to move more. I find myself looking for ways to move throughout the day: I park farther away, I take the stairs, I even carve out a half hour on my way home from work to go to the gym!

The moral of the story is, don’t focus so much on the things you shouldn’t do. Instead, focus on what you CAN do! It’s much more empowering.

What’s one good habit you can add today? Share below. You might inspire someone!

How Old Are You, Really?

“It is health that is real wealth and not pieces of gold and silver.” – Mahatma Gandhi

Have you heard people say, “getting old sucks!” How does that make you feel? Like there’s no hope? That aging is what it is and that there’s nothing you can do about it? I know when I hear that, it bums me out! Especially in my profession, I come across people in their 50’s and 60’s who are so sick, bed ridden, or just overall have a poor quality of life. But just when I start to buy into that idea (which is a dumb idea by the way), I meet someone who inspires me. Someone who brings me back to reality and all that I believe in, which is this, “AGE IS JUST A NUMBER PEOPLE!” Lie about it if it makes you feel better, check a different box on a survey, do whatever you have to do to stop allowing these meaningless characters to have so much power over you!

I had the pleasure today of meeting an incredible man. For his privacy, we will call him Howard. I met Howard in the hospital. Howard is 85 years old. Let me tell you a little bit about this remarkable man. Howard was in the hospital because he broke his leg. He got hit by a car, riding his bike. You see, he rides his bike regularly for exercise. He also runs and swims! He told me he started when he was 39. He and his wife went on a ski trip with a few other couples, most of them were in their 20’s. Howard said they could hardly keep up. It was in that moment that he decided he needed to start exercising, and he’s been doing it almost everyday, ever since. By the way, a little background on Howard… he doesn’t take a single medication, doesn’t have any current conditions (other than his new broken leg), and no health history. When I asked him what his secret was, he just simply shrugged and said, “I’ve always done it. I started at 39 and never stopped!” When I asked him about his diet and his weight, he told me, he weighs the same as he did when he was 39 (which is a very healthy weight for him), and he “eats a pretty healthy diet. I’m not a fanatic about it or anything, but I do pretty good.”

This man has inspired me to paint a new picture for myself of what aging looks like and proves it does not have to suck! My ultimate goal: to be running marathons when I’m 85! (Just like the man in the picture above. You can read his story here.

Now that you’ve read Howard’s story, I’d like to ask you, what’s your ultimate goal with regards to your health? How do you see yourself when you’re 85? It’s never too late!

(This was not a rhetorical question by the way! I’d love for you to share your thoughts, inspirations and goals below.)

 

Make Your Own Rules

I had the pleasure of working with Juliann Stitick of Wardrobe Rx, who is an amazing fashion consultant. When it comes to fashion, I’m a bit of a mess! I can never seem to get all of the rules straight… don’t where black with blue, gold with silver, actually don’t ever where gold because it’s not your color. It was driving me crazy! The best advice she ever gave me – “Make your own rules!” Her point was for me to wear whatever felt good to me, whatever I felt beautiful in. Then she sent me this card, that hangs on my mirror everyday to remind me that I make the rules of my life. 

This is something important to remember, because this doesn’t just apply to fashion. It can be applied to your diet and exercise routine. Now, obviously if you decide one of your rules is to sit on the couch and eat a cheeseburger everyday, you’re probably not going to accomplish your goals and most likely won’t feel very good! What I mean is, you decide what diet is right for you. I often get asked, “should I go vegan, eat only raw? What about high protein, low carb?” My answer is yes! Pick what makes you feel the healthiest and can work with your lifestyle. That’s what is most important. My goal for my clients is to feel the best they can at any age.  TOGETHER, we figure out to get there.

So go make your own rules!

Welcome!

My name is Jamie Leff. I’m a registered dietitian, and I LOVE food!  People always ask me what I eat, and are often surprised when they find out I don’t live on salads and tofu (not that there’s anything wrong with that), and that I don’t spend hours in the kitchen making gourmet meals with 20 healthy ingredients (I actually hate to cook.) Another common comment I get is “Oh no, there’s a dietitian at the table!” No one wants to sit next to me at the dinner table! Or I’ll have a bite of cake or a slice of pizza and someone will point out, “Aren’t you a dietitian? Don’t you know better?” The honest truth is that I’m human… I have a sweet tooth, I’ve been known to go on an emotional binge once or twice, and my social schedule often frightens people. I am always going to dinners, parties, showers, weddings and I love to travel! So how do I stay thin, fit and healthy? I’ve learned how to balance it out!

That is how I’ve developed my philosophy over the years and how I work with clients.  I don’t believe in the “One Diet Fit’s All approach.” In fact, I’ve probably tried every diet out there and will continue to try every diet as my clients ask me about them. I love trying new programs. It’s part of why I became a dietitian. What I do is work with people where they are at, combine different ideas and approaches and see what sticks! The truth is, I would rather live to be 85 having enjoyed every ounce of my life, than to live to be 100, having never “tasted” life.

My goal is to share with you what I do, inspire you to live the healthiest life you can (whatever that looks like for you) and to teach you that it can be fun and enjoyable. It’s not easy. It takes effort… old habits are hard to break. But go easy on yourself. If I beat myself up every time I had a chocolate chip cookie, I’d be black and blue!

So enjoy and welcome!

My name is Jamie Leff, I’m a registered dietitian, I love food, and yes, “I know better!”