It Works!

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One more multi-level marketing company added into the mix that I have tried is It Works! I did try several of the products but the one I want to talk about today are the body wraps. Lose inches within hours- yes please! You pick an area of your body you want to be toned and tightened and you apply this wrap to that area after it has been cleaned. I chose to do my stomach, left the wrap on for the appropriate amount of time, took it off, measured my problem area, and low and behold- I had lost inches!! Wahoo, this is great, let’s try another! The wraps come in a box of 4 and if you sign up as a customer you can get them for $59 a box, otherwise they are $99 a box, but even at that price, $25 to lose inches off my stomach I’m in!! But, what gives, why is everybody else not doing this miracle cure for that unwanted excess fat?

At this point I did buy four wraps so I did try all of them, but I started to look into things a little bit. There aren’t many side effects to the wraps, the only notable ones were bloating and flu like symptoms, but the real question is; does the weight stay off?! It sure didn’t for me…

There are no proven results that these wraps even detox the body like they also claim to do, but they do tone and tighten your body…for a couple days. Between the wrap and the water they recommend you drink you are mainly just moisturizing your skin and plumping it up which will reduce the appearance of cellulite. However, if you don’t continue regular treatments your body will go back to the way it used to be in just a few days.

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So, not a long term fix but this would be great for a day at the beach or a honeymoon where you only need the short term results! Want to feel good for a short period of time, these wraps definitely work for that, just don’t look to them for a weight loss, healthy lifestyle sort of plan. I think we are slowly learning that clean eating and exercise is about the only permanent fix out there, but don’t worry, I’ll keep searching!

Healthy Energy

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Okay, so you long ago tossed energy drinks out the window. You start reading about the “healthy” energy supplement you have been taking and find out they aren’t so top notch either (guilty!)…but, your still tired…and you still need that extra pick me up. Do you go back to that daily coffee, drink a couple pops throughout the day? Well that would defeat the purpose of healthy living! So then what can you safely, effectively, and healthily do to increase that energy you have been lacking lately?

Bet you will never guess what my first suggestion will be… yep, WATER! Drink more water (now who do I sound like?!) Everybody has heard about the confusion between thinking you’re hungry but really being thirst, well that goes the same with fatigue; you think you’re tired but actually you are thirsty! Another thing to try drinking is switching out that morning coffee with a low fat latte, the milk can provide an extra energy boost.

Feeling sleepy might also be caused by a magnesium deficiency and to help get this back in check you should try consuming things rich in magnesium like almonds, cashews, whole grains or fish. You might also want to get your thyroid checked by a doctor, sometimes this can be an underlying cause of many issues- including a reason why you might be having troubles losing weight!

Don’t skip breakfast! Breakfast is the most important meal of the day; it helps get your metabolism going and can really boost your energy. Skipping any meal is never good, but breakfast sets the tone for your entire day, don’t skip it! This one is easier said than done; eliminate stress! Stress and anxiety use up energy quickly, you could sit around all day and still feel exhausted if you are stressed out about something. Learn to deal with your stressors and work on coping skills for your anxiety. The energy you save will be worth it!

Walking can also boost your energy. A brisk 10 minute walk can help you maintain your energy for an additional 2 hours! Sunshine can also help so take a quick walk outdoors if you’re able to.

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A few last minute pick me ups… laugh, look at something red, yawn, eat chia seeds or stretch!

For more information on how these things all help check out these two websites:

www.health.com/health/m/gallery/0,,20502284_4,00.html

www.m.webmd.com/women/features/10-energy-boosters

Body Rock TV

Alright followers, I have something exciting I want to share with you. A coworker of mine told me a while back about this BodyRock TV thing she was doing. I let it go in one ear and out the other because I don’t have TV so I clearly wasn’t going to be checking this out. Whoops guess I should have listened better…weeks later she invited me to the Facebook Page called BodyRock TV. Guess I should have paid more attention, but come one, who calls a Facebook Page “TV” I’m sure you see my confusion. Well it has now become an addiction of mine- mostly because I get bored and they are always posting things that show up on my newsfeed so of course I have to read them. This page is great people! I strongly encourage you to check it out!

The claim they are “here to get you in the best shape of your life for FREE from your very own home.” Got your attention now didn’t I?! Yep, I said FREE- daily advice that doesn’t cost you a penny and the best part is, you don’t care about it, don’t read about it! You get to pick and choose what actually interests you, and trust me there is enough stuff there that I guarantee you will find something of interest. Today’s hot topic that caught my eye, “Does Taking a Huge Dump Help You Lose Weight?” and the answer…Yes! It may not be significant and as you get backed up again you may gain the weight back, but initially yes, you will notice a weight drop. There are many other fun facts like this, or there are posts about the newest equipment you can use to lose weight like the Bosu Ball. There are posts about body images, healthy foods to choose, and unhealthy ones to avoid, the list goes on and on. They also usually have fun catchy titles like the BodyRock Throwback: Spank Me Maybe featuring a YouTube video. This page keeps me excited about working out and gets me excited to learn about healthy living. They have everything I have been looking for and I am grateful that my co-worker introduced me to it so I figured I would spread the love! Enjoy-

https://www.facebook.com/BodyRock.Tv?ref=br_tf

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Sometimes Cheating is Okay!

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Okay, so I need to vent a little bit with this one. I am a part of a challenge group on Facebook (which honestly just irritates the heck out of me most of the time and I should just remove myself but I have yet to take that step!). This group is called 2015 Transformation and it is a bunch of somewhat local women who are all on a healthy living kick as well. Except these women have taken it WAY TO SERIOUSLY! They post pictures for “flex Friday”, post their lunch for “meal Monday” and so on. At first what I thought to be a motivational page turned into an angry depressing page for me. The leader of the page posted a picture of a half a banana with peanut butter and 10 chocolate chips, yes only 10! The comment said, “I cheated tonight. I couldn’t help myself, I sat and watched my family eat pizza, then came home and made myself a yummie salad. But it didn’t quite ‘cut the mustard’.” Cheat?! Lady…you’ve lost your mind- that’s a normal snack for me! And I’ll be darned if I am going to go out for pizza and not eat it! Literally three days later she posted, “I am bonking. No, I am not bonkers. I have been following the lowest bracket of 21 Day Fix and doing Max:30 workouts. I am tired and hungry A LOT. So yea for me, I get to eat more!!!…” She goes on farther but nothing necessary for you to get my point! Yep, tired and hungry because you aren’t eating! Eat the pizza, as long as you are conscience about what you are putting in your mouth and not binging or doing it regularly IT”S NOT GOING TO HURT YOU! Work out harder tomorrow morning knowing you had a slip up tonight but it’s okay to slip up! Also, it’s not cheating…consider it as a reward, you worked hard, you have EARNED this. Studies suggest that a successful dieter will stick to their diet plan 90 percent of the time, that’s 10 percent short of 100! 10% of the time you can eat those 10 chocolate chips.

Still don’t think it’s okay to splurge once in a while? How about this, leptin (I’ve mentioned this word before!) is secreted by fat cells and is key to maintaining energy balance in the body (it allows you to know when you are full). When leptin levels are low you continually think you are hungry, and low levels of leptin are caused by decreasing caloric intake. Continually eating with minimal calories could potentially lead to binging! So take that high calorie splurge, it might actually help you in the long run!

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Spark

Spark

I was introduced about 2 years ago, by a friend, to a company called Advocare. She had lost several pounds and swore by this drink she called Spark. It not only gave her energy but her child who had ADHD, she claimed gave him mental clarity and the ability to stay focused. Alright, sometimes I swear I have ADD and I sure could use the energy so I would stop falling asleep at my desk (apparently employers frown upon that)… let’s give it a try. I ordered the Spark energy drink, and a five hour type energy drink called Slam. I still giggle thinking about this, the first day I got my drinks in the mail I was dead tired, I needed a quick fix to stay awake because I knew I was going to be having a meeting later that day so I tried the Slam first. WOWzers! I instantly felt alive I was ready to go take on the world, the time came for our meeting and I crashed…hard! I came down off the “high” that I was on and there was no keeping me awake. I did the head bob the entire meeting and my co-workers to this day just laugh about it. My child had been sick and they knew I was tired and new about the drink I had taken so they luckily weren’t upset!  I quickly ditched the rest of those drinks; I couldn’t afford to be in that situation anymore. But, I still wanted to try the Spark because I spent a decent amount of money on this stuff, so the next day, tired again, time for some Spark.

It surprisingly tasted well, I first tried the Fruit Punch, I have since then tried the Strawberry Mango, Grape, Cherry, Tangerine, and Watermelon, and I have liked all but the Tangerine (but I don’t care for Orange flavor, so that isn’t surprising). I also got the exact amount of energy I was looking for! It didn’t give me a rush of energy like the slam had and I wasn’t jittery or anything, I also didn’t crash afterwards like I had on the other drink. It was the perfect amount of energy for the perfect amount of time. I found if I took it too late in the day I would have trouble sleeping at night so I just made sure not to do that! I was also able to quit drinking pop which was a huge accomplishment for me since I would drink like 3 Mountain Dews a day to try and stay awake! If I wasn’t tired a certain day I just didn’t take the Spark, this truly was my miracle drink! I do still take Spark to this day. As I have been working out I find myself being less tired but there are still days that I need an extra little pick me up and it works wonderfully for that.

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So, after taking it for several years, why not wait until now to do a little research on it! Here goes nothing… Retail cost is $1.24 per serving (which is less than a pop these days and if I cut out three pops to my one serving of Spark, I guess I am doing pretty well!). It does contain 120 mg of caffeine but there is no sugar, however, there is sucralose which is a non-caloric sweetener, okay, maybe not so well anymore. Sucralose was initially supposed to be a pesticide but after realizing it was so sweet they switched it to an artificial sweetener, it has been approved by the FDA (which really means nothing these days) but it has gone from a safe rating to “caution”.

Overall, Spark seems to be as sketchy as any other energy drink but there are no real side effects or anything that screams direct danger! After looking into a little bit I don’t find it necessary to quit taking Spark immediately but I do think that I may look into some other natural ways to gain energy, be on the lookout for that blog!

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Sleeping

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Sleep more, weigh less? Well yes, but just sleeping isn’t going to get you that great figure! There are many reason why sleep is important and your health is a pretty big one. First of all being tired gives us a lot of excuses, like why you can’t exercise or why you needed that extra mountain dew… sound familiar?

Your body also creates more ghrelin when you are sleep deprived. Don’t worry I have never heard of this before either, so what is ghrelin? It’s what signals your brain that it’s time to eat… increase this and your increasing these signals and thinking feed me, feed me that much more! Worse yet, sleep deprivation leads to lower levels of leptin, this hormone says put the fork down, without it…you just keep eating. So more sleep really does lead to better eating habits.

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When we are sleep deprived we are also more inclined to snack on high carb foods and we have a harder time saying no to unhealthy foods because our rewards center is revved up.

How much sleep you need varies from person to person, but the average person will need from 7-9 hours of sleep every night.

To figure out how much sleep you need, next time you are on vacation go to bed at your normal time and don’t use an alarm clock to wake up, you might initially sleep more to “catch up” but after a few days however many hours you are sleeping is typically how much sleep your body needs. I am one of the unlucky few who needs like 10 hours of sleep to function properly, share your results with us if you already know how much sleep you need!

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We actually burn more calories by sleeping than we do watching television too! So shut off that episode you just couldn’t miss and hit the sack- you will appreciate it tomorrow!

More helpful hints on the correlation of sleep and weight loss can be found at http://www.webmd.com/diet/sleep-and-weight-loss?page=2

Smoking

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Here’s another thing I’ve tried- smoking. I started when I was 15 when my cousin locked me in the changing rooms at our local State Park beach house and said, “It’s cool everybody is doing it!” I know we have all heard that one. I was scared, but I did it, and I hated it- so why did I keep doing it? Who knows, but for 9 years I was a daily smoker. I quit while I was pregnant with my son, but started right back up after I had him. It was my stress reliever; little did I know it was actually adding stress in my life! But when my son got big enough to need to be chased around the house and I could barely breathe going from the kitchen to the living room I decided enough was enough! I went on a cruise in December of 2014 and I didn’t bring any cigarettes with, and I have not had a cigarette since! I quit cold turkey, so I have no miracle workers for you in this department, but I know it was definitely a life changer for me. I was definitely a little touchy for quite some time and old habits are easy to get back into, going out to the bar was the hardest when everybody around you gets up to go outside, it wasn’t that I felt I needed one, I just felt like I should be getting up to go with them! Now I barely even recognize the fact that I used to smoke, and I sure let other people know when they smell like an ash tray!

The best part about this was that it started my healthy living adventure. This one step just escalated into more. I could run now and not be out of breath so I actually wanted to run, if I was running and losing weight I might as well start eating healthy too!

So, you don’t care about running, then why should you quit? Within 20 minutes you will start to see the benefits when your heart rate will drop towards a normal level and within 2 hours it will actually be a normal level. Circulation will also improve so your fingers and toes will start to warm up, but be careful around this time you will start to experience your withdrawals. In 12 hours your carbon monoxide will decrease and your blood oxygen levels will increase- which is good! In just 1 day your risk for a heart attack will drop, and two days in your smell and taste will be enhanced. Oh, it just keeps getting better huh!? Now, the nicotine is completely out of your body but you will start to experience nicotine withdrawals; keep fighting! In just a couple weeks you will perform exercises you never knew you were capable of- this is what got me to keep going (I could play with my son, and actually catch up to him when he tried to run away!). Your lung functions improve and breathing actually gets easier, also at two weeks your withdrawal symptoms start to disappear. In just a month your lungs will actually start to repair the cilia and can help reduce infections. And here we have it, after ONE WHOLE YEAR of being smoke free your risk of heart disease if lowered by 50%. In just five years you are going to be in a category of a non-smoker when it comes to the risk of strokes…and ten years, well your risk of cancer just dropped to half that of a smoker- and why haven’t you quit yet?! Wait, one more thing, after 15 years, you decreased your risk of heart attack, coronary artery disease, arrhythmias, angina, infections of the heart AND conditions of the heart’s beating rhythm! It isn’t easy, but it is worth it, let’s work on extending our life span, what a simple way to do it! Information courtesy of http://www.healthline.com

Looking to get help quitting, check out these sites: http://www.smokefree.gov http://www.lung.org

Or simply google, “Get Help to Quit Smoking” and there will be plenty of options!

Fun Facts:

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When quitting smoking your appeal to the opposite sex could triple!

A single cigarette contains 4,800 chemicals and 69 of these are known to cause cancer.

In the US, it is legal for minors to smoke cigarettes, they just can’t buy them!

The first anti-smoking campaign was led by Hitler.

“The only safe cigarette is your last one…” –Duane Alan Hahn