Eating vs. Exercise

Lean healthy bodies benefit from both appropriate diet and exercise. But I’ve found personally and by watching clients, shape is determined by exercise, and size is determined by diet. You can have a woman with flabby arms in a size 4 or a size 14. That is an exercise issue if “flabby” was what made your skin crawl. If the “size 14” made you uncomfortable then it’s a diet problem. It’s entirely your judgment that sets your course.

For most of us, if we never address issues of appetite, game over! We’re ripe for exhaustion. Connect the dots, more exercise makes us more HUNGRY! We eat more we exercise more we’re HUNGRY then more eating then woah gatta count those calories on the elliptical, we’re exercising and over and over and over and whhhhaaat?!?! Step off the crazy counter and take a breath. What happens when you feel hungry? Can you just …be, while your hungry? Take a deep breath, walk around, brush your teeth and get something else done before you browse the pantry for some savory snack? Try it! Only Fill Your Cup!

Healthy Recipe

Responses to our last blog post (especially the Face book Responses Thank You Carrie for sharing!) indicated that eating fresh fruits and vegetables, nuts and drinking water are healthy. Let’s start with the vegetables. To eat more vegetables, getting organized is half the battle.

#1) Shop for what is in season. If there is no one knowledgeable in your favorite produce market look for the freshest, brightest most vibrant vegetables you see. My standard is if it doesn’t look and smell like what it is “supposed to,” I don’t buy it. (It goes for fruit too, if an apple smells like wax chose something else.)

#2) Chop and store in sealed containers. If you chop a healthy mosaic of Veggies at least once or twice a week you will eat much better because meals are convenient. If you plan to enjoy your vegetables as a salad keep the dressing separate until serving or your beautiful salad will have a 48 hr life even in the refrigerator.

#3) When you have limited time for food prep you have your chop ready to go you just add a little cheese or meat or whatever you need to make that cup feel like a meal.

What I chopped this week: 1 bulb of fennel, 2 leeks, one head of broccoli, 4 stalks of celery (the others from the bunch I sold to my kids with peanut butter) 1 shredded fresh beet, the seeds of 1 pomegranate.

I dressed it with: some apple cider vinegar, a splash of balsamic vinegar, lil maple syrup, walnut oil, some crumbled blue cheese and then topped it with honey caramelized walnuts.

Fill Your Cup and save the rest for later.

What is healthy eating?

Fill Your Cup, the weight loss book and philosophy that this site is dedicated to, is foremost about portion control. Many of you have heard me say, “I’m not teaching healthy it’s too broad a topic. I only teach thin.” It turns out – being thinner is healthier so indirectly, I teach healthy. My goal and challenge is to teach students to learn to manage their own hunger and become more aware of their appetite.

I’m thinking about posting some healthy recipes in the upcoming weeks, so I’m curious… what do you think eating healthy really is about? It can mean different things to different people based on family history, experience and personal appetite. Please write in the comments below what you think eating healthy is.

When you feel healthiest, how do you Fill Your Cup?

Volition, the Britannica dictionary says, “is the power of choosing or determining.”

When you can really understand Volition, when you get it that you have the power to choose there’s a sense of peace. When you fully come to grips with the fact that it’s you that you have in charge of your personal team, that it’s you that charts your course and executes your life, and ultimately it’s only you that you have to blame or celebrate for the results. Well then your whole life makes a lot more sense and the opportunities open up.

Because it’s not that grumpy husband/wife/partner’s fault, whew ok he/she won’t hold me back. It’s not the job stress that makes you eat poorly, really oh ok? It’s not your horrible genetics from your chubby polish grandmother that makes you fat, what a relief, there’s hope after all! It’s your choices for eating and moving that make the shape of your body.

Most of you who read this blog are fully formed adults and you get to make most of your own choices about food. Occasionally, there is a meal that it served that you have to eat (a portion of) out of politeness to the chef, I suppose. Generally speaking as an adult you order, cook or in some way choose the foods that you eat. With those choices you also chose your own jeans’ size. (Well at least the width)

No one can eat or exercise for you. You make those choices out of your own volition. The peace comes from accepting that you made it so, and you can change it — if you want the change enough. Fill Your Cup.

Basic Truth

Basic Truth

Pearl Bailey a singer and actress in the 60’s said, “You never find yourself until you face the truth.”

Let’s face it. If you don’t like your body right now this moment, if you feel big or thick or don’t like the way your clothes squeeze too close at your hips or waist or arms, if you aren’t agile and confident when you are naked, the good news is, it is simple to change that.

If you are moving/exercising as much as you have time or energy for then it is time to scale back the food. All of it. Don’t think about just scaling back on breakfast or just one category of food. When we choose to just “give up white sugar” or “give up alcohol” that will probably be a very healthy option but it wont make you any thinner if you fill up your space with something else. If you give up the sugar and fill it with starch your body will stay thicker than you like. If you give up the alcohol but fill it with meat you will still be heavy.

Embrace your space. I’ll help you. You’re worth it!

Check out the great FILL YOUR CUP Weight Loss System offering with all the Fill Your Cup essentials I will be writing more blogs again so please check in sign, up for the RSS feed and tell your friends! * Tell all your friends about this blog and website, we learn from eachother’s experiences and from sharing our own. If you’re new, Fill Your Cup is a lifestyle for slim and conscious living. Explore the website there are free core exercise clips and an audio sample of the book Fill Your Cup. It’s never too late to start feeling lighter! You’re right on track, jump in right now, bring a friend on this journey with you reading the blogs, following me and other keepers of the cup on Twitter (click here) or sign up here to receive email updates (click here)

If you want to improve, be content to be thought foolish and stupid. ~ Epictetus

Epictetus was a Greek Philosopher. He explained that Philosophy is a way of life not just theory. He believed that all external events are determined by fate, (not Karma…whew) and are outside of our control. He taught that ideally we practice acceptance of external events but take full responsibility for our own actions. We examine and manage our choices through rigorous self-discipline.

He taught that suffering arises from trying to control what is uncontrollable and/or neglecting what is with in our power.

So my take, with Fill Your Cup and weight loss in mind is this:
Suffer less by controlling what you can; how much you eat. Your exercise schedule will be manipulated by your real life obligations. Your body type was set by your genetic code, you are who you are, check in with those hands they match the rest of you and eat a portion that is proportionate.

When the friend you share a meal with says incredulously, “That’s ALL you are eating!?” be content to be thought foolish for your own improvement. Accept the giant portions you are served graciously but, with rigorous self-discipline, keep your portions to your cup. You will improve your waistline and perhaps over time change that friend’s perspective. Sip your water or tea and enjoy the space in your body. Don’t suffer with someone else’s expectation and never neglect what you CAN indeed control. Fill Your Cup.

* Tell all your friends about this blog and website, we learn from eachother’s experiences and from sharing our own. If you’re new, Fill Your Cup is a lifestyle for slim and conscious living. Explore the website there are free core exercise clips and an audio sample of the book Fill Your Cup. It’s never too late to start feeling lighter! You’re right on track, jump in right now, bring a friend on this journey with you reading the blogs, following me and other keepers of the cup on Twitter (click here) or sign up here to receive email updates (click here)


I’m posting this photo since it is one of the very rare photos I can find of myself “relaxing.” I used to say that the hardest thing for me about subbing a yoga class was to que Shavasana as something other than a nap. Relaxation doesn’t come naturally to me, yet it may be the most important element in acclimating to a change in lifestyle. I employ it out of necessity.

Long-term successful weight loss comes from making it comfortable, and relaxing into the boundaries of the cup (your portion.) Try not to resist the edges or bump into the top of the cup wondering if it is supposed to have a lid or examining where exactly is the bottom – relax into it and enjoy what is there. Forget all that doesn’t fit today. There is always room in your cup tonight or tomorrow for the craving that doesn’t fit in this meal. Relax into the limitations, they are there for your liberty, ease of movement, freedom to feel, independence from any addictions and the sovereignty to realize your dreams. Fill Your Cup.

Circular reference

Circular reference happens in computer programming when one piece of code requires the result from another, but that second code needs the result from the first. The entire set of functions is now worthless because none of them can return any useful information whatsoever. This leads to what is technically known as a livelock. It also appears (quite often to a woman like me) in spreadsheets when two cells require each others’ result. For example, if the value in Cell A1 is to be obtained by adding 5 to the value in Cell B1, and the value in Cell B1 is to be obtained by adding 3 to the value in Cell A1, no values can be computed. This represents a big problem. (Thanks to Wickipedia for the Cell A&B example)

A deadlock occurs when two or more processes are each waiting for another to release a resource.

Do you ever feel like your exercise/weight management progress is in deadlock? are you stuck in a circular reference? (if your mantra has become “Wellll, muscle weighs more than fat,” you may be in a Circular Reference) Function A1 in weight loss is to eat less, Function B1 is to work out, lean muscle mass burns more calories.

So here’s how it looks: You have a light breakfast or none = A1. Then you work out really hard = B1. Circular reference comes into play since you are now so hungry, you eat twice as much for lunch and crave extra snacks all afternoon abdicating the affects of A1. Your body requires more, growls for more, your stomach seems to reach up and turn over itself. Your out of easy to access energy from the exercise plan but you must cut the calories to lose weight. The hunger requires food but the weight loss diet plan prohibits it – circular reference! Each process is waiting for the other, to provide the resource it needs. What to do?

Start with this: remind yourself that the hunger is an adjustment that will ultimately make you thin. It is better to be light than full. Resist the easy extra calories or scrapping your exercise program.

Several Options:
• Breathe
• Chose an exercise activity that has lower caloric restriction to make it a little easier on your self tomorrow – long walk, yoga or Pilates class?
• Take a nap or do a breathing exercises – a 25 min rest can recharge your batteries calorie free
• Have a cup of green tea
• Sit with the hunger, notice if you can fill your cup with some joys of life: time in the garden, phone a friend, reading with a young or old person, read on your own, fully immerse yourself in your list of things to do today
• Fill YOUR Cup the cup of your spirit with the best you can imagine!

Women Who Drink Gain Less Weight

I have several speculations on why this is true.

1) Moderate social drinking may mean we are out socializing and probably care about what we look like in our skinny jeans
2) Moderate social drinking takes some of the edge off and maybe we eat less (keep the cup) while we are out
3) Because we are drinking “moderately” perhaps we have learned moderation in more than just the alcohol, perhaps with the food as well….

Can a drink a day keep the pounds away?

Dieters are often advised to stop drinking alcohol to avoid the extra calories lurking in a glass of wine or a favorite cocktail. But new research suggests that women who regularly consume moderate amounts of alcohol are less likely to gain weight than nondrinkers and are at lower risk for obesity.

The findings, reported this week in the Archives of Internal Medicine, are based on a study of 19,220 United States women aged 39 or older who, at the start of the study, fell into the “normal weight” category based on their body mass index. Researchers at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston tracked the women’s drinking habits over 13 years. About 60 percent of the women were light or regular drinkers, while about 40 percent reported drinking no alcohol.

Over the course of the study, 41 percent of the women became overweight or obese. Although alcohol is packed with calories (about 150 in a six-ounce glass of wine), the nondrinkers in the study actually gained more weight over time: nine pounds, on average, compared with an average gain of about three pounds among regular moderate drinkers. The risk of becoming overweight was almost 30 percent lower for women who consumed one or two alcohol beverages a day, compared with nondrinkers.

The findings are certain to be confusing for women who continue to receive conflicting messages about the health benefits and risks of alcohol. Although moderate drinking is associated with better heart health, regular drinking also increases breast cancer risk.

The trend toward less weight gain among drinkers doesn’t appear to hold true for men. A 2003 study of British men showed that regular drinkers gained more weight than nondrinkers. Studies suggest that drinking alcohol has different effects on eating habits among men and women. Men typically add alcohol to their daily caloric intake, whereas women are more likely to substitute alcohol for food. In the Archives study, women who drank alcohol reported fewer calories from food sources, particularly carbohydrates.

In addition, there may be differences in how men and women metabolize alcohol. Metabolic studies show that after men drink alcohol, they experience little if any metabolic change. But alcohol appears to slightly speed up a woman’s metabolism.

The link between consumption of red wine and less weight gain was particularly pronounced in the Archives study. Some studies have suggested that resveratrol, a compound present in grapes and red wine, appears to inhibit the development of fat cells and to have other antiobesity properties.

The findings don’t mean women should rush to drink alcohol to lose weight. Other research shows that once a person is already overweight, her alcohol metabolism is more efficient, and so an overweight woman may gain more weight from alcohol than a lean woman. The data do, however, suggest that for many women facing weight problems, the extra calories are probably not coming from alcoholic beverages.

Courtesy of NY Times article

* If you’re new, Fill Your Cup is a lifestyle for slim and conscious living. Explore the website there are free core exercise clips and an audio sample of the book Fill Your Cup. It’s never too late to start feeling lighter! You’re right on track, jump in right now, read the blogs, follow me on Twitter (click here) or sign up here to receive email updates (click here)

Free Weight Loss Coaching:

Get a pen and paper or open a word or pages document and write down what exactly is your real goal is for you body? Get specific. Don’t just say I wish I was thinner or in better shape. Be more specific, make it meaningful to you. What is your ideal Jeans size or shirt or dress size? What is your goal for weight, lightness or balance or agility? Take some time with this it is your physical being and it is important.

Now ask yourself, “is there anything I am unwilling to do to achieve my goal?”
Are you willing to be hungry before you eat?
Are you willing to leave space and stop eating before you want to?
Are you willing to workout out in some way every day?
Are you willing to awaken your body by trying a new class or practicing at a deeper level?
Are you willing to make better choices for your cup (your meals) consistently? (Ex. Are you willing to cut down on fast foods? Are you willing to pass on the sweets and pick more sustaining foods?)
Are you willing to feel what choices with food or friends or life feel good or bad?
Are you willing to stop complaining about your body?
Are you willing to celebrate your wins?
Are you willing to build some self discipline?
Are you willing to increase your water intake?
Are you willing to believe it is even possible for you to achieve your goal?

Take a look at this list and although it is a short list, how many of these are you really willing and unwilling to do?

Get to know what you are really willing to do. If you are not really willing to make the changes you know you will need to achieve your goal, then go back and evaluate the goal for your body. Decide how much you really want it then stop complaining about where you are with your body and ENJOY your life!

* If you’re new, Fill Your Cup is a lifestyle for slim and conscious living. Explore the website there are free core exercise clips and an audio sample of the book Fill Your Cup. It’s never too late to start feeling lighter! You’re right on track, jump in right now, read the blogs, follow me on Twitter (click here) or sign up here to receive email updates (click here)