In order to lose weight and maintain it for the rest of your life, an inner transformation has to take place as well as an outer transformation. True success includes more than reaching your goal weight. It requires you to hanging the way you look at yourself, your life, and your relationship with food.
   I wanted to bring this up because so many of us forget this, making it so much easier for us to continue yo-yo dieting and unconsciously setting ourselves up for failure. I've heard this from so many different sources like Youtubers who've succeeded in changing their life, shows like the Biggest Loser and Dr. Oz, and online articles. 
   I've known this for a while but I'm still a work in progress. But being a work in progress is a good thing because your trying to improve yourself, which really should be a life-long journey since no one is or should be perfect.
   These inner transformations can be difficult for many different reasons: environment, friends, family, self-esteem, and your overall motivation or lack-there-of to change. You have to want change bad enough and for many that just isn't so. Finding motivating resources like books, online communities and articles about health can push you towards change and sometimes even scare you (in a good way) into it! 
   For example, you may read about how exercise and a plant based diet drastically reduces risks for heart disease and the shocking statistics to go along with it. You also may experience a health scare like a near heart attack or maybe you've developed pre-diabetes or full-blown diabetes. Maybe breast cancer runs in your family and you want to cut down your risk. And maybe you have relatives around you dealing with obesity related illnesses and you want to help them as well as preventing a similar fate.
    Unfortunately, you can't want it badly enough for someone else, but you can try to motivate them in addition to transforming your own life. Sometimes seeing someone in their/your life transforming their body and health can give them the courage and motivation to change themselves/yourself.
    Emotional change takes time and effort but think of the wonderful benefits you'll have in your life! We have to remember to change our thinking as well as our bodies. And don't try to be perfect, but instead try to imagine what you really want for yourself and take small steps as well as making long term goals. is a great resource for healthy, low calorie meal ideas and recipes. There are so many good websites out there, but I just ran across recently. Here's an entire collection devoted to 500 calorie dinners! 
    I ran across a recipe for healthier No-Bake Mac N' Cheese. I haven't tried it yet, but I thought I'd share it. It's supposed to be low calorie and you can substitute or omit the vegetable choice. They use broccoli and I'm sure some people in my family would want to use peas. (Though, I would never use peas! I can't stand peas in casseroles.)
   Let me know if any of you try it and what you and/or your family thought of it.
   In my developmental psychology class we were asked what advice we might give to someone who is aging and wants to stay healthy. I thought I'd share my response.
      Aging is a natural process that everyone goes through, but there are ways to take care of yourself in order to have the best quality of life possible each and every year you grow older. First of all, avoiding health hazards such as tobacco use, drug use and alcohol abuse will eliminate any additional diseases and health problems for your body. For example, smoking decreases lung capacity, dehydrates the body, and causes lung and lung related cancers. But other than avoiding these health hazards, there are other measures individuals can take to live healthy lives into late adulthood.

   “Coronary heart disease correlates with senescence, but it is not directly caused by any one aspect of aging.” (Berger, p.528) Eating a healthy, balanced diet and exercise are important during the entire lifespan and can reduce some of the health risks related to senescence (the natural process of aging that begins when we stop growing), like cardiovascular disease, and most types of cancer. “A varied diet high in fruits, vegetables, and grains is better than one high in fat” (Berger, p. 541) and can reduce one’s risk for developing type II Diabetes, high cholesterol and other obesity related illnesses. Exercising regularly is positively affected by one’s personal commitment, supportive friends, and community environment,” so evaluating your life, your environment and the people in it may improve your ability to stick to a healthy lifestyle (Berger, p. 539).

    Exercise and nutrition also improves brain functioning, which slows down with age. Getting enough sleep is equally important for your mental and overall health. Another important thing to remember is, you should always follow your doctors instructions, such as taking medications and other advice. Less than half of all adults follow their doctors instructions which can lead to health complications and even pre-mature death (Berger).

    We've all heard about how exercise releases endorphins which can improve mood, but there are other ways exercise helps our brain. Here's an article I found listing the mental health benefits of exercise:  
   The ab workout is only 10 minutes long but it's a killer! I love that it's so effective in a short amount of time.
    Today I did the Fire 45 EZ class for the first time. It was fun and I haven't sweat like that in a while! It felt good afterwards. I'm surprised that I'm feeling this good after only 4 days, because I thought I'd have a hard time the first week of getting back into exercise.