Weight Loss and Life-Long Health Goes Beyond Nutrition and Exercise

 

The Cabbage Soup Diet, Jenny Craig, The Hot Dog, Egg, and Some Other Thing I Can’t Remember Diet – like many women, I’ve tried all kinds of diets to keep the weight off.  Never being successful, until now, I learned the most important thing about losing weight and keeping it off.  I learned that no matter what, the change had to be made with my self-worth first.  I have to believe everyday that the work is done in this order – Spirit, Mind, and Body.  The body will reflect what lives in the spirit and mind. How I lost my weight and increased my energy has everything to do with habits I found necessary for me to live a happy life.  Here are some of the adjustments I made in my perspective to accomplish more than just weight-loss.

Goal Setting
The managing trainer (more like a life coach), Kimi Morton, at Egan’s Fit Body Bootcamp, says, “What you can measure, you can manage.”  In other words, we can’t just say that we want to lose weight.  If we say exactly how many pounds we want to lose, set a deadline, and detail what actions we will take to get there, we can be laser focused on accomplishing our goals.  Making it an easy bite size goal is important too, we need to be able to meet our goals because that is what is going to make us feel awesome and ready to set the next step to the ultimate “Big Dream” goal.  For myself, it was, I will lose 1-2 pounds a week to lose 5 pounds in a month by exercising at least 5 times a week.  My husband and I now do this for our financial goals by saying how much we will save per month so we can take a Japan trip with the whole family next year.  I also apply this to how many hours and pages I will cover in my study material to pass the CPA exam.  “Eat That Frog!” by Brian Tracy recommended by Kimi, helped tremendously.  I highly recommend this book if you want to learn to prioritize and have many things, like I do, that you would like to accomplish.

Have a Support Group and Surround Yourself With People Smarter Than You
I most certainly could not have met my weight loss goal if I didn’t have people to hold me accountable.  By having a small group of people after the same goal, you have no choice but to be accountable for your actions.  If you have to report to people about how much progress you’re making, if you stick to your meal plan, and they notice if you aren’t going to your workout, you will be less likely to fall off the wagon.  Also, by having trainers teach me about metabolism and protein and carbohydrate ratios was eye-opening.  

I work in an accounting firm and during tax season, I got smart and allowed others to help me.  Half way through the season I went for lomilomi massage treatment and hired a personal chef.  Just doing these two things lifted such a weight off my shoulders.  I was able to eat healthy with the help of the personal chef.  It was one of the roughest tax seasons we had in a long time, but I felt clear-minded and had enough energy to pull me through the season.  I used to pride myself in doing everything myself. Now, I know it is best for people to help one another by doing what they love.  I am able to share my light by helping people through my career in accounting and love of writing.  By allowing friends to help me with my healing and nutritional needs, I am assisting them in sharing their light as well.  This exchange of helping one another, to me, is the meaning of true abundance!
Reward Your Future Self
The wonderful side effect of proper goal setting and having a support group is being more productive without feeling run down.  I have also picked up a new favorite phrase that keeps me from procrastinating, which is, “reward your future self.”  I got this from Pualena Pakele & Cabot on her “Hot Better Pop” podcast with Kimi Morton (Check out this podcast if you’re interested in life hacks, nutrition, beauty, productivity, unicorns, etc.).  So now, every time I think I am tired and I can just do something later, for example, prepping my breakfast and the kids’ after school snacks the night before, I think about whether I’m rewarding or punishing my future self. This is usually enough to keep me from leaving it to be done the next morning.  This means I always have my 5 a.m. workout clothes on the bathroom counter so I don’t have to decide what to wear at 4:30 a.m.

Cheat Meals (Joy) Are (Is) Essential
That’s right!  I must have a guilt-free cheat meal or two on the weekends.  I LOVE FOOD!  I have certainly learned to love eating cleaner simply because it makes me feel better. However, my husband and I love good sushi, Italian food, and gelato! Not only is it better in the long run to have a sustainable diet that the body is used to, but it’s also necessary to have it as part of a joyful life.  Food is an important part of our culture, brings family and friends together, and used in celebrations.  Therefore, we have to be able to live with food and enjoy it without any guilt, otherwise, chocolates, wine, and pasta will not get the full attention and appreciation it deserves.  Now that’s sad!  So eat healthy and work hard, but balance it with decadence and play!

Bless EVERYTHING!
This is the biggest lesson of all.  Going back to Spirit, Mind and Body.  We can bless our spirit and mind through meditation and learning about things that bring us joy.  We can also bless our bodies through exercise and putting fresh, non-processed foods into our bodies.  It doesn’t have to stop there.  When, I do work for a client, cook food for my family, speak to another, clean my house, I stop and ask myself what kind of energy am I putting into my action and words.   We have a big house and I sometimes catch myself thinking that the cleaning is never ending.  So, at that point I switch my thoughts to gratitude, because when I do, I realize that when I am gratefully cleaning my home, I am blessing it, and when you clean a home that is a blessing rather than a burden, it becomes more beautiful to look at.  Now, blessing is slowly becoming more of a habit and suddenly grumpy clients are kinder, clothes get folded more neatly, food gets better prepared and my physical self is also much improved.  I’m still working on “blessing” our 6 bedroom house, or perhaps I just need to embrace the mess.  Anyways, everything is always a work in progress.  

So, I guess the moral of this story is, if you want to improve something, be grateful for what you have and BLESS IT!!
 Down 20 lbs.and 8% body fat

Egan’s Fit Body Bootcamp, More Than Just a Gym

AUTOBOTS! TRANSFORM! Well okay, Egan’s Fit Body Bootcamp may not transform your body as fast as Optimus Prime can turn himself from a cab-over truck into a giant robot, but Bootcamp has transformed a lot of bodies in a short amount of time. It has also transformed my outlook on my capabilities from the first day I began working out there. I continue to be surprised every day I show up at their Honolulu location located on S. King Street in Mo’ili’ili.  As a working mother of two boys, I was looking for an early morning workout group. I searched the internet and found Egan’s Fit Body Bootcamp, which is owned by professional athlete Egan Inoue and his wife, Marcia Inoue who is also a former competitive gymnast. After reading a few articles and reviews I decided to check it out and took advantage of their unlimited 21 days for $49.95 which is still being offered.  I used to be a runner, but running at 5 am in the dark wasn’t something I felt safe doing by myself.  Much to my surprise, I found more than a safe place to workout.  I found a positive environment of other working parents, singles, and seniors who come to sweat, challenge one another, and grow together, not just in strength and endurance, but also in character. It doesn’t matter how athletic or experienced you are, it’s suitable for all ages and levels.  There is even a keiki bootcamp on Saturdays.

On Day One, Shortly after Brielle, my tour guide for the morning, showed me around the gym, the room was filled wall to wall with early risers ready for class.  Wow, I never knew so many people woke up so early!  Every 5 am class has about 40 to 50 members in attendance.  On this Monday, Egan Inoue, the man himself, set up various exercise stations.  Twenty minutes into the 30 minute session, I had to rest or pass out.  It’s been a while since I’ve taken an excercise class.  A basic sit-up, jumping jack, or a push-up is pretty much just used as a break.  Now all these are done in combination with something else.  For example, doing a sit-up into a tuck jump or combining squats with jumping jacks.  At 5 am, it kind of works the brain too.  Towards the end, I was on the punching bags and exhausted, but, my neighbor said, “We only have 10 more seconds. Finish strong.”  Those words motivated me to finish harder and faster in those last 10 seconds.  Egan also went around supporting and challenging everyone, “Don’t stay comfortable!”  I made it to the end of my first session.  It was a challenge but I felt strong and thought that maaayyyyybe I could do a pull-up before the end of this year.  We shall see, but, just the fact that at the end of my session I began to think of the possibility that I could be strong enough to do something that I could never do before was a transformation that made me start to see that the only limits are the ones we place on ourselves through our thoughts.  I already intellectually knew this and used it as an affirmation, but now I actually started to FEEL IT and BELIEVE IT!

So, after Day One, I was hooked and really excited about the rest of the week and, if you can imagine, feeling quite happy and tough with all my muscle pain. I’m not sure what “tabata” means, but to me it means SUCKING WIND!  Just when I thought it couldn’t get harder than the first day, this high intensity workout on my second day led by the managing trainer, Kimi Morton proved me wrong.  Even when Kimi is saying stuff like, “the cure for pain is more pain, ” or threatening penalty burpees, she is a ray of sunshine!  She is always challenging us with a smile!  The best feeling though, is at the end of class when you look around and everyone is happy they made it through and congratulate each other with a traditional round of high-fives. 20140318-120524.jpg I was also able to enjoy a class with trainer Kyle Higa.  Like all the other trainers, Kyle is a lot of fun but sets the bar of expectations high in the sky, the sky’s the limit afterall.  Each day is not like the day before.  Kyle said we are doing “The Big Twelve.”  I was clueless, I won’t go into the details of “The Big Twelve, ” but I will say that I knew it would be another ass-kicking challenge when a veteran member said, “I’m scared.”  On this day we were working as a group to get through a series of exercises and couldn’t move on until everyone was done.  I used to hate group work in school, but this activity really united the group, not only did I feel great that I had made it through the workout but that there was this added bond because we were all helping one another complete the challenge together.

Their no-diet system was also not what I expected, but when explained, made total sense to me. Marcia suggested that I keep my current eating style but just change a couple of things. In my case, I get to eat more. I learned a little about metabolism and we decided to try adding more protein and eating a little earlier in the morning before my workout.  This simple act will raise my metabolism and keep it raised throughout the day.  I was able to let go of that guilty feeling I had for eating a very creamy and cheesy gourmet meal at the new Koko Head Cafe just the day before.

Egan, Marcia and their ohana at Egan’s Fit Body Bootcamp have created a very unique environment to strengthen the body and mind. Most of the workouts are just 30 minutes. What I love about this training center is that it’s safe, fun, and challenging. The schedules are perfect for those of us who work and have families. There is a support system here that is not available at other gyms. Here, everyone encourages one another like a team mate.  Most of all, no one ever gave me a high-five at other gyms or when I used to run around Diamond Head. Check out their website for more information on locations, schedules, and testimonials. I also highly recommend signing up for the newsletter where there are great tips on how to get the most out of the workouts, recipes, and current promotions. Egan’s Fit Body Bootcamp

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We Got Called To The Principal’s Office Because Our Son Was a Biter

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We never thought that would be us. We are good parents with well behaved children. So when we got a note from Cameron’s teacher reporting some aggressive behavior, we were shocked at what was in that note. We already knew at age 2 to 3 Cameron would express himself physically because he didn’t use words much. The teacher reported that he bit someone on the lip after he was pushed and that on a separate occasion he twisted someones eyelid. I felt like I didn’t know who this kid was and then I felt like a bad mother. Where did he learn to do this? We don’t allow the kids to watch anything violent and no one in our family behaves this way. My husband Alex and I agreed we had to act fast! The Principal also wanted to see us about Cameron.

At our meeting with the principal, we talked about ways to help Cameron in a positive way. I eventually came up with making Cameron a star chart to carry back and forth to school. The teachers were very cooperative and liked the idea. So, I made a card that said, “Cameron’s Super Hand’s.” We traced his hands with colorful markers on the cover. On the inside, it read, ” Cameron has SUPER HANDS, Hands that paint, hands that write, hands that hug, they can do lots of SUPER things and never hurt anyone or anything.” We read this to him everyday before school and told him that when he earned 10 stars, we would take him to buy something special from Toys R’ Us.
After a week, there was still no star, he was still getting in trouble for using his hands in a hurtful way. I felt so bad that other children may get hurt, although the teachers had been keeping a close eye on him and intercepting the attack always before anyone got hurt. We thought our plan was not working. Then, the next day, he got a star! Finally! “Keep it up Cameron!” we encouraged him and the next day he got another star! He continued until he filled up his star chart. Whew! Mission accomplished.  Along with the star chart, we encouraged Cameron to use words to say how he was feeling.  With persistent love and encouragement, we never scolded Cameron because we knew that he just needed to be taught to use his words.

Today, Cameron is 7 years old and is the sweetest, most thoughtful child I know. He gives the best hugs complete with this twinkle fingers thing he does when he’s hugging. When I pick him up from school, he runs to the front of the school to pick up the nicest freshly fallen plumeria flower for me to put in my hair. He is also the protector of friends and family and says he will be a firefighter one day.

The Bella Project: Hawaii’s Own Fairy Godmother

image“Every bella deserves a beautiful prom,” is the mantra of The Bella Project.  Sometimes it is financially hard for families to buy a dress when they are trying to just put food on the table.  Enter fairy godmothers! On Saturday, March 1, 2014 The Bella Project will be holding their annual Bella Boutique at the Central Union Church, Parish Hall from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.  As a non-profit organization, The Bella Project provides new and virtually new dresses and accessories to high school women free of charge.  Dresses donated by the local community, boutiques, pageant queens like 2013 Mrs. USA Universal Amanda Brad and The Bella Project’s own President Valerie Schmidt Mrs. Ultimate Elite 2014 are beautiful, stylish and in excellent condition.

The Bella Project was founded by Amanda Ross in 2009. In 2011, she moved away from Hawaii and turned it over to The Junior Leaugue of Honolulu.  Three members from The Junior League, Valerie Schmidt, Tracie Young, and Charise Shigeta operated it and converted it into a 501(c)3 again independent from The Junior League.   These ladies are currently the board members who are the leadership of The Bella Project.

The young women that come to The Bella Project leave with more than just a dress, shoes, accessories and makeup.  With a hundred volunteers, each girl is paired up with a female adult volunteer to talk about what is going on in their world.  Volunteers are strong professional women, moms, aunties, and mentors. For many of the young high school girls, it is the first time that someone has ever told them that they are beautiful or to have a strong female presence in their life.  Here are some of the inspiring stories from those who have benefited from The Bella Project:

From a daughter:  My mom was diagnosed with cancer, all of our money is going to her treatment.  I am hoping that you will allow me to get a dress so my mom doesn’t have to worry about one more thing.

From a mom:  My husband has been laid off since last year, now my daughter can get something nice from you.

From a mom:  We live paycheck to paycheck.  You have so many dresses for my daughter to choose from.

The goal of The Bella Project is to keep high school girls in school and reward them for continuing their education despite what is going on around them.  In addition, they should know that there are people rooting for them and encouraging them to grow, succeed and become contributors to the community and maybe even return to The Bella Project as a volunteer to reconnect with their female mentors, thank them for their experience, pay it forward and say, “I was once like you, you are beautiful and you will make a difference!”

For more information on how to get a dress or make donations like The Bella Project Facebook page and check out their webssite:

http://www.thebellaprojecthawaii.org