Easy tips for getting yourself back to you

By Gina Traficant

Not long ago you were getting in shape for swimsuit season. Then you hit a few barbecues and made time for a trip out of town, but skipped a few trips to the gym. It’s easy to think that upon returning from vacation, if the scale hasn’t moved, then you got a hall pass from the glutinous eating while vacationing. Kathy Keating, who recently returned from Laguna states, “I thought I was doing well (with) managing my weight while on holiday because I was walking so much.”
After her jeans felt tight, she realized that she had, in fact, returned not only with souvenirs but also a higher body fat percentage. By replacing her high intensity cardio with casual walking, eliminating weight training and dining out frequently, Kathy had increased her body fat and decreased muscle mass. Since muscle is more dense and heavier than fat it didn’t reflect on the scale, only when she tried on her jeans. If this sounds familiar, keep reading to get yourself back on track after summer fun.

Back to Fitness 101:
1. Set goals. Goal setting keeps you focused on being proactive rather than reactive. Include short-term goals such as: I’ll only eat out twice this week as well as long-term goals such as I want to lose 20 pounds by my class reunion.
2. Planning. Individuals who create plans are likely to reach their goals. Plans can include watching nutrition documentaries such as “Food Inc.,” trying new vegetables or keeping your gym bag in the car.
3. Diet. Food journaling is the most important tool to losing weight because individuals discover their nutritional habits. Apps such as Lose It! and MyFitness Pal make it easy to keep track of calories in versus calories out.
4. Exercise. Studying only addition won’t get you the best grade in math class. You also have to study subtraction, multiplication, etc. The same goes for fitness. The body acclimates to an exercise within 10 days so incorporating new moves, such as the one below, into your workouts increases calorie burning.
5. Hiccups. It’s one thing to ditch class, another to drop out. Just as one would not quit school after receiving a poor test score, one should not surrender living healthy if a few pounds return. Rather than moving from one extreme to another, it’s best to consistently eat healthy and exercise. Then you can treat yourself occasionally and still be able to fit into your jeans.

Frog Kicks

This is an excellent exercise that shapes and tones the shoulders, arms, abs, waist and glutes without bulking them up.

Try this: When in the downward facing dog position, bring one knee forward towards your elbow and then move the same leg back up, straightening the knee as you lift the foot behind you, up towards the sky. Pause for one second before starting second rep. BW (Body weight) x 12 reps each side x 2-3 sets.
Kathy Keating, quoted from the article above, is demonstrating how to do a Frog Kick exercise.

Ultimate Salad

Servings: 2
4 cups spinach leaves
½ cup tomatoes
½ cup green pepper
½ cup squash
½ cup cucumber
6-8 ounces of cup grilled chicken (optional)
½ cup fat free mozzarella cheese (optional)
½ cup sundried tomatoes (I rinse water over mine in a strainer to rid off some oil)
¼ cup raisins
2 tablespoons toasted pine nuts


Combine ingredients, toss with 1.5 tablespoons Annie’s Naturals Tuscany Dressing (@ Whole Foods) Pour dressing on last—cover bowl with a lid and shake it up so the dressing saturates the salad without having to use too much.