The Key Weight Loss & Self Love

Hello again! I’ve been on a blogging hiatus for the last few weeks, as I spent a month frolicking in the beautiful Australian countryside. Taking that time away from my normal routine (and not feeling like I had to come up with all the answers to life’s questions) allowed me to have a good think about who I want to be in 2017, how I want to live my life, and how I can help you do the same.

During my month-long musings I noticed something about myself that, truth be told, surprised me a little. I realized that I’ve become a “when this will happen, that will happen” kind of person.

Let me explain…

Over the past few years I’ve taken to thinking that I need external circumstances to change before I can really accomplish the goals that I’ve set myself. I’ve assumed that it will be easier to achieve what I want to achieve once XYZ happens.

For example, I thought that:

  • When I got that job at the new Pilates studio… I would automatically become fitter.
  • When I reorganized my kitchen… I would happily cook more at home.
  • When I went on that holiday… I would return happier and more motivated than when I left.
  • When I relocated…I would naturally be more confident and make more friends.
  • When I reached my goal weight…I would love myself.

But it rarely turned out that way.

Saying that something will be different, doesn’t make it so. Nothing comes from words or thoughts that aren’t followed by actions.

I’ve known this, I’ve experienced this, but until now I haven’t truly internalized it.

The truth is, that for something in our life to change, we need to make a change first. You can’t think your way into a better body, a happier marriage, or a more fulfilling career, if all you do is think about it. Thinking, writing or speaking goals, aren’t worth a dime if they aren’t followed by action.

So, as we start the new year I want to ask you this: Are you ready to take action? Are you ready to take action to create a body and a life that you love, even if all the pieces of the puzzle haven’t yet fallen into place?

I’m ready to take that challenge, and I invite you to do the same.

Now I’d Love To Hear From You:

  1. Have you ever relied on external circumstances changing before you can become the person you want to be?
  2. Or, perhaps you’ve never experienced the “when this happens, that will happen” thought process. If that’s the case, what’s your secret to taking purposeful action?

I’d love to know your thoughts. Please leave a comment below.

It’s great to be back with you.

With love,

JDW Signature

*PS Remember that massive blue planner that I lugged across the world? Other important items that made their way into my suitcase included: curry paste (a lot of curry paste), Kraft peanut butter, tins of tuna, leaf tea, and, somewhat awkwardly, three crushable boxes of salt and vinegar chips. I packed those in my carry on, of course. Now if I can just figure out how to transport a couple of legs of lamb…

How To Make Healthy Decisions - Jennifer Dene

How To Make Healthy Decisions (And Why We Don’t Like To)

I was at the supermarket the other day and I wanted to buy a bag of chips. I headed into the snack aisle, my eyes scanning the shelves, my hands not knowing whether to reach for potato or corn. (I adore them all.)

“Are we getting chips?” my husband asked.

“Ummm, maybe. I was thinking about it. Do YOU want some?” came my response.

Our conversation continued…

Him: “Sure, if you want them.”

Me: “I don’t really mind.” (I did.) “We’ll only get them if you feel like them.”

And continued…

Him: “Let’s not worry then, I don’t really feel like chips tonight.”

Me: “Are you sure? You might want some later. Maybe we should get them just in case…but only if YOU want.”

Can you see what was happening here? Despite the fact that I wanted chips I wasn’t willing to say the simple words “I’m going to buy myself a bag.”

Why?

Because I didn’t want to be responsible for making that decision.

I catch myself doing this from time-to-time, outsourcing my decisions so that it’s not my fault if things don’t pan out.

It’s a habit I don’t like and one that I’m changing, but it still catches me out every now and again.

Home cooking is a simple decision: you either cook or you don’t.

Exercising is a simple decision: you either do it or you don’t.

Drinking wine on a Tuesday night is a simple decision: you either drink it or you don’t.

These are some of the decisions that I battle with, and that I might pass off to someone else, even though the “right” choice is both personal and situational. Some days exercising is the best decision, other days it’s not. Sometimes getting take-out is great, other times it’s not.

You might not always make the right decision, but you do have to be willing to make a decision, especially if taking control of your health is important to you.

This month I’m committed to making my own healthy living decisions, with authority and without guilt, to see how the choices that I’m making affect my health, my happiness and the quality of my life.

I’ll keep you posted on how it goes.

With love,

JDW Signature

Healthy Holiday Eating

Healthy Holiday Eating: It’s More Simple Than You Think

The holidays are a difficult time for women who don’t have a healthy relationship with food. From restrictive eating to overeating, this time of year can create some serious food anxiety.

So in today’s post I’m sharing four diet-free, practical tips that will help you feel more confident at the holiday dinner table.

And the reason I can help is because I’ve been there too. For ten years I felt like I had only two choices when it came to holiday eating:

  1. Avoid eating foods that I thought were bad for me.
  2. Accept that overeating is part of the holiday tradition…and deal with the aftermath in January.

Perhaps you can relate.

But you know what? Both of those options stink. Restricting and overeating are signs of self-sabotage, not self-love, and they’re getting in the way of you reaching your ideal weight.

Fortunately, there’s a third choice:

(3) Eat what you want. Stop when you’re full.

Sounds easy, huh? It is, but it takes time. 

This holiday season you need to give yourself permission to eat. Eat what you want, just do it mindfully and slowly. Don’t be afraid to eat, but don’t be afraid to stop eating either.

I know this might be a different approach for you, one that may make you a bit anxious. Here are four techniques that you can test out to get you started:

Decide What To Eat

Have you ever eaten something only to realize that it wasn’t what you wanted? When this happens you feel full but not satisfied, which can lead to overeating and feeling guilty. So instead of rushing in to eat what’s on offer, stop for a moment and consider what you really feel like.

Prepare To Eat

Want to know my secret to enjoying treats without gaining weight? I put them on a plate or in a bowl. This keeps me portion-aware and makes the whole eating thing feel more official. Seeing food before you eat it also triggers the release of the digestive enzymes that are crucial to digestion. Pre-dinner snacks and dessert are best eaten from a small plate, or at least a napkin.

Just Eat

Don’t overthink it – this isn’t rocket science. Eat without distractions, chew your food properly and place your silverware down between mouthfuls. Also, remember to breathe.

Stop and Reflect

In French Women Don’t Get Fat Mireille Guiliano writes that she eats half of her plate then stops for a while to check in with her appetite. If she’s still hungry she eats a bit more. If she’s satisfied she stops. I like this idea and thought you might want to experiment with it too.

Most importantly, try not to make this into a bigger deal than it has to be. Food is just food, there’s always more of it, you can eat what you want, and you can stop when you want.

You really can. And I never thought I’d be the one to say that.

Wishing you a safe and happy holiday season.

Warmly,

JDW Signature

exercise hacks

Exercise Hacks & Workouts For Weight Loss

Is it just me or has our culture become obsessed with speed? You only need to read a magazine or browse the internet to be bombarded with “hacks” for getting more done in less time. Eating, working, exercising, socializing, bathing, relaxing, sleeping. Every area of our lives has been touched by the wand of time-management. Yet somehow, even with these time-saving strategies, we still lack time. 

We work harder and faster, and get more done in less time, just to have more time to be MORE productive. It seems counterintuitive, no?

I don’t want to get more done. If anything I feel the need to do less, but to do those things properly.

Efficiency has its limitations, and extreme productivity isn’t a roadmap to leading a content and healthy life.

And yep, that includes your fitness routine…

Over the past five years the fitness world has exploded with exercise hacks. Trainers and novices alike boast how they can compress their 60 minute workout into 15 minutes (and still get the same results).

Gah.

But what does that say about the state of our lives? That we don’t have time to give our body — our physical home and temple — 45 minutes of gentle, unhurried movement in a 24 hour day.

Why are we more concerned about wasting time than safe-guarding our health? Why are we hacking our lives away?

Clients often ask me for the quick fixes, the shortcuts. They want to know what exercises they need to do to lose weight fast. What hack is there for quickly getting back into those skinny jeans?

Sometimes I think my answer disappoints them. The only “hack” is consistency.

To lose weight and keep it off, to get fit and stay fit, to feel as good in your body in 10 years as you do now, remember this: fitness needs to be simple, gentle and consistent.

And that’s why my workouts here on the blog take a back-to-basics approach to fitness. And that’s why I’m never going to yell at you to move faster, or push harder. And that’s why this week I encourage you to slow down, connect with your body, and un-hack your workout routine.

Let me know how it goes!

With love,

JDW Signature

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Hack-less Workout Routines You Might Like:

Learn The Jump Lunge

Crunch Free Ab Workout

Stretches For A Tight Upper Back

How To Stop Overeating Halloween Candy (And Other Holiday Treats)

Is the thought of a kitchen filled with Halloween candy giving you the heebie-jeebies?

Are you feeling frustrated, and helpless, about your annual binge on fun-sized bars?

Perhaps you’re thinking of boycotting “Trick Or Treat” this year, just to avoid the temptation…

I get it. Those mini chocolate bars have a way of getting themselves eaten, and the guilty feelings that follow are as horrid as a Wes Craven movie. But that’s not going to happen this year. 

In today’s post I’m sharing the tricks that I use to avoid bingeing on treats. Read on for three strategies that you can use this year to stop overeating Halloween candy (and avoid holiday weight gain).

Halloween should be scary for the movies, the costumes, and for your husband’s terrible attempt at pumpkin carving. But, for many of us, the real fear comes from premonitions of uncontrollable candy binges.

Memories from last year — snacking on Snickers and crunching on Kit Kats  — is enough to induce the ghost of a belly-ache. Not to mention a wave of pre-emptive guilt; your assumption is that it’ll happen again.

And it’s not only Halloween night that causes concern; that leftover loot has a way of making eyes at you from across the kitchen counter all week long. 

If you have, or have ever had, a problem with over-eating, emotional-eating, food-addiction, or sugar-addiction, then being faced with an oversized bowl of bite-sized candy is a recipe for disaster.

Since you can’t rely on willpower to get you through Halloween night, let alone the whole holiday season, you’re going to need a strategy. So let me break this thing down, and make it as simple as 1, 2, 3…

How To Stop Overeating Halloween Candy

Tip One: Buy Yourself A Real Treat

Have you ever declined dessert at a restaurant or dinner party, only to go home and raid the cookie cupboard? When it comes to food, willpower can only take you so far, which is why deciding NOT to have any treats isn’t always a smart move.

But that doesn’t mean giving in to the wrong temptation.

The problem with Halloween candy is that it’s just downright crappy. Unless you’re giving out organic, Fair-Trade, single serve dark chocolate bars — thereby killing your “cool status” with the neighborhood kids — the stuff that you’re sharing is low in quality, high in sugar, and often made via third-world child labor (1).

Normal Halloween candy is wreaking havoc on your blood sugar, messing with your metabolism, and generally making you feel pretty bad about yourself. It’s simply not worth the splurge.

(P.S. Have you grabbed your copy of my Boost Your Metabolism Guide? It’s free! You can grab it by clicking here.)

If you’re going to indulge, then I recommend doing it properly! Buy yourself a small, high quality treat, and savor every mouthful. Whether that’s an expensive chocolate bar or a ridiculously beautiful pastry from your local bakery, eating something decadent should feel sensuously satisfying, and be an event to be (fondly) remembered.

Tip Two: Do You Really WANT More Candy?

Food should make you feel good: physically, mentally and emotionally. Overeating food that doesn’t tick all three boxes is a sign of self-punishment, not self-love.

The “Want Test” is something that I share with my clients when it comes to eating treat foods. You can eat anything you WANT, in the amount that you WANT, if you’re eating from a place of self-love, emotional clarity, and epicurean delight.

Feeling guilty about eating often leads to overeating; you may have had the thought of: “I’ve already blown it by having some, so I might as well have the rest…” In doing so, you’re telling your body that (a) it doesn’t deserve a little treat from time to time (it’s not good enough / thin enough / fit enough to warrant anything special); and (b) that your body is basically a trash can, a place where unwanted food gets tossed. 

This is why one donut leads to five, or two chocolates leads to ten; and it’s what holds you hostage to the food that you eat. In the past, that way of thinking has seen me empty a box of cereal or polish off three bowls of ice cream; not exactly actions that speak self-contentment, are they?

The “Want Test” puts you back in a position of power by choosing what, and how much, you eat.

If you find yourself starting to unwrap another piece of candy this Halloween, take a moment and ask yourself:

  • Do I really want this?
  • Why do I want this?
  • Do I want this for my taste buds (will it taste any better than the last)?
  • Do I want this for my body?
  • Do I want this for myself emotionally?

As you answer these questions remember that there is ALWAYS more food, you can always have another treat tomorrow, and your decision making is more powerful than your sweet tooth.

Tip Three: Discard The Leftovers

The morning after Halloween is when reality hits you  — last night’s sugar binge, and overeating food that you didn’t actually want, feels pretty ordinary the following day. The morning brings with it that sinking feeling in the pit of your stomach, and the negative self-talk that yells: I can’t believe you did this again.*

You’re left with no choice but to get the leftover candy OUT OF THE HOUSE.

Here’s what not to do:

  • Don’t take it to work (you still have access, and your co-workers might not feel so thrilled)
  • Don’t try to hide it for later in the holidays (come on, we all know that doesn’t work)
  • Don’t stand in the kitchen eating it while trying to come up with a solution.

Here’s what you can do:

Throw it out — in the outdoor trash if you have to do. Worried about waste? Don’t be. Worry about your health. My mum taught me that it’s wasted food anyway, if you eat it but you don’t want it.

*Of course, hopefully this year you can wake up to a bright and sunny morning feeling totally at peace. You implemented tips one and two from today’s blog post, and you DIDN’T eat too much candy. Well done you! But don’t be a hero; get that leftover loot outta there.

I hope that these three strategies can help you tackle Halloween, and the entire holiday season, with a sense of calm. Trust in your body and, no matter what happens, remember to be patient and kind to yourself as you continue to tweak your healthy-living routines. 

With love,

JDW Signature

FOLLOW THROUGH | JENNIFER DENE WELLNESS

How To Follow Through (& Set Goals That Matter)

I hear a lot of “failure” talk in my coaching business. Women will come to me after another failed attempt to lose weight. Another failed attempt to stick to a diet. Another failed attempt to strike work-life balance.

Which got me thinking about the concept of success and failure, and the clinical way in which we set goals and expectations for ourselves.

And I’ve realized that we’re going about it all wrong. It’s not the women that are failing, it’s the process they’re taking. 

You see, the standard way to set a goal is to think of a desired outcome (rather intellectually) and then take specific actions to get there. While being smart about goal setting is important, there’s a downside to being too strategic about the whole thing.

When we think too far ahead, and have a laser focus on how we’re going to achieve something in the future, we’re overlooking one of the most important aspects of success. That is: Will I enjoy the journey of reaching this goal?

If the answer is no, then you don’t have a hope of success.

Because successfully reaching a goal isn’t just about the outcome, it’s about enjoying the process that gets you there.

The key to staying motivated is to find joy in the journey. I don’t know about you, but counting calories, eliminating food groups or doing exercise classes that I hate is not going to motivate me to follow through on my health and fitness goals. If anything, it’s a one way street to failure.

But that’s the way we go about this whole goal-setting thing – we make choices that look good on paper.  It’s intellectual, but it’s not effective. And ladies, that’s what makes the diet industry a billion dollar business.

So What Can You Do Differently?

Instead of thinking about something you’d like to achieve and immediately asking how do I get there, start by asking why.

Why do I want to get to reach that goal?

Why do I want to make that change?

Why does this really matter to me?

Only after you’ve found your why, should you start on the how, which should be created in a way that’s realistic, sustainable and (most importantly) enjoyable.

Remember this: Goals aren’t reached overnight. Life is in the journey. Start with why. Build your own how.

Now I’d Love To Hear From You

Weigh in on this discussion by leaving a comment below.

With love,

JDW Signature

P.S. Are you ready to break through walls of self-doubt and commit to reaching your REAL goals, once and for all? Schedule a free 30 minute consultation with me via email: jennifer@jenniferdenewellness.com to schedule your free consultation.

Stop Dieting | Jennifer Dene Wellness

Stop Dieting And Live At Your Ideal Weight

Do you have a healthy relationship with food?

Are you able to eat intuitively, enjoying all kinds of food without guilt or shame? Or do you feel trapped by certain sets of dieting rules that tell you what, when or how to eat?

Would you love to stop dieting but are anxious about gaining weight if you do?

In today’s video I’m sharing the simple mindset shifts that allowed me to finally stop dieting, and changed my life physically, mentally and emotionally.

And it started with the realization that finding our ideal weight doesn’t start with the food on our plates, it starts with trusting in our bodies and experiencing our lives. 

If we spent more time focusing on how we want to feel, we could (quite easily) look how we want to look. Tweet This.

If you’re regularly eliminating foods that you enjoy, just because someone whom you have never met — and knows nothing about your lifestyle or body type — has written a book suggesting that you should, then today’s video is for you.

I hope that, by pressing play on today’s video, you will feel empowered to release the diet mindset and discover how to live at your happy weight, in a happy way, once and for all.

Once you’ve had a chance to watch, I’d love to hear from you. Answer one or both of the questions below.

  1. Does the idea of ditching the diets feel liberating or anxiety-inducing to you?
  2. Have you experienced an “aha” moment about eating for your lifestyle and body type?

Join in the discussion by leaving a comment below.

Remember that this video is part of my series: 7 Ways To Love Your Body & Life This Week. Catch up on all the videos here.

Click the image to download your free Self Love Checklist!

7 Ways To Love Your Body (Cheat Sheet)

Just to recap, here’s your task for today:

  • Write down all the dieting rules that you’re trying to follow. Keep what serves you and ditch the rest.
  • Stop classifying foods and “good” or “bad”, and give yourself permission to eat all food.
  • Pay attention to the foods that make you feel great, and the one’s that don’t.
  • Eat when you’re hungry and stop when you’re comfortably full.
  • Enjoy a treat every day!

Then, dive into the next video, where we’re chatting about making exercise fun!

Thank you so much for joining me here on Jennifer Dene Wellness. I know that together we will create a bright, healthy and purpose-filled future for ourselves, and the women that come after us.

With love,

JDW Signature

P.S. Don’t forget to download your Self Love Checklist. Here it is.

How To Boost Self Esteem With Compliments

The simplest things can make a big difference to how we feel about ourselves and our lives.

Getting a good nights sleep. Having fresh flowers around the home. Laughing at a friend’s joke. These small, daily actions not only help us to feel more happy and relaxed, they can also boost self esteem.

Appreciating life’s little joys is a gentle reminder that every day is a gift, and that each of our lives is special and unique — something that should be valued.

Yet unfortunately it’s easy to focus on the negatives, on what we don’t have, or what we wish we could change.

We might catch ourselves comparing our life, our body or personality, to other people, and particularly other women. Whether this manifests itself as you judging them, or you judging you, someone is going to get devalued.

Comparing yourself to other people won’t boost self esteem, it won’t change how you feel about yourself, and it won’t help you to make the positive changes that you need to live a life that you love.

No matter how perfect someone else’s life, or body, may look from the outside, we all struggle with feeling insecure from time to time.

The simple strategy that I will share with you in today’s video takes less than 30 seconds and will allow you to feel more confident and satisfied in yourself, as well as share those positive feelings with other women around you.

Once you’ve had a chance to watch, I’d love to hear from you.

What simple, daily, action, habit, or experience helps you to feel happier, more confident and boosts self esteem?

Join in the discussion by leaving a comment below.

Remember that this video is part of my series: 7 Ways To Love Your Body & Life This Week. Catch up on all the videos here.

Click the image to download your free Self Love Checklist!

7 Ways To Love Your Body (Cheat Sheet)

Just to recap, here’s your task for today…

Go out and pay a genuine compliment to another woman (and remember that it doesn’t just have to be about appearance).

Then, dive into the next video where I’ll show you how to ditch the diets and live at your ideal weight without deprivation.

Thank you so much for joining me here on Jennifer Dene Wellness. I know that together we will create a bright, healthy and purpose-filled future for ourselves, and the women that come after us.

With love,

JDW Signature

P.S. Don’t forget to download your Self Love Checklist. Here it is.