Posts for the ‘Inspiration’ Category

The Season of Eating

By Laura Del Guerra, RD, CDE, Take Control Health Coach

We just celebrated Thanksgiving, and for me that signals the start of what I refer to as “The Season of Eating.” From Thanksgiving clear through Easter there is at least one big eating opportunity each month: Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years, the Super Bowl, Valentines, St. Patrick’s Day, and Easter.

These events are potential landmines that can derail the most dedicated from following through on their healthy lifestyle. Having spent my career in the field of nutrition, I have had years of hearing the aftermath of how pre-planned goals and expectations often fall short of reality.

Many of us have an idea about what we will be doing on these holidays, where we will be, with whom, and the foods most likely to be served. Where people get stuck is when we just roll with the expectation that the day will unwind as it always has, and we are powerless to change anything. Then disappointment hits because our expectation was that we would have somehow handled the day differently.

Here are some tips for managing your expectations during the Season of Eating:

  • When setting a plan for the day (or weekend) think about how you handle the big dinner. Knowing how you typically handle the day and then making a goal based on modifying your typical holiday behavior will help you achieve the goal. Some people are most successful at handling the holiday season by doing just this type of thing.
  • Some of my family’s best holiday celebrations have taken us off the beaten path food-wise, exercise-wise or both. We changed to a fresh turkey years ago (a huge improvement), homemade cranberries, and often times, an after dinner game of lightning. I’m always game to try something new with the knowledge that it’s going to be great: either a great success or a great disaster! But either way, a fun family story may come from it.
  • When reflecting on how you navigated the event, don’t compare this celebration to every other day of the year; compare it to last year’s celebration. What did you do last year in terms of your lifestyle, and in what ways is this year different? Chances are you’ll see plenty of differences. Maybe you re-worked your favorite holiday dish so it contains less calories or fat (but still tastes great), or maybe you had a slice of pie, but it was a smaller slice than usual. Did you sign up for a Turkey Trot or some other fun physical activity? Did you show up for dinner with a different recipe that reflects your commitment to a healthier life?
  • Your health coach is here to serve as your guide as you change your lifestyle. Your meetings this time of year should focus on your usual holiday patterns.

Let us know how it goes. Don’t let one mistake snowball. If you get off the rails, get back on the next day. We’re here to keep you going on your journey!

Planes, Trains, and Healthy Travel Food

By Take Control Staff

Eating healthy when traveling can be difficult for everyone. There are often unknowns and last minute changes, and we end up making poor choices based on limited options or being in a rush. The best way to avoid those pitfalls is to plan ahead. Planning your travel food can keep you from eating junk food, save you money, and will make travel more convenient.

We’ve put together some ideas to bring along, whether you’re in planes, trains, or automobiles.

Bring Along 

  • Water: Bring an empty water bottle on flights– after you pass security you’re free to fill it up at a drinking fountain or vendor in the terminal. Bring a full water bottle for car rides, trains, etc.
  • Fruit – anything that travels well: apples, bananas, grapes, or dried fruit
  • Pre-made sandwiches
  • Hard boiled eggs
  • Seeds and nuts – add a little crunch to your snack
  • Pre-popped popcorn – cook it before you leave and have it ready to eat on the plane
  • Yogurt
  • String cheese
  • Any kind of nut butter – peanut butter, almond butter, etc. You can pre pack it in a smaller container or it buy single serving containers.
  • Pita chips and hummus
  • Pre-cut veggies
  • Energy bars – our health coaches like Lara Bar
  • Naturally sweetened sodas, like LaCroix
  • A cooler if you’re driving, to carry your healthy food
  • Towels or hand wipes to clean up


  • Review your itinerary before you leave, and find out if you have time to eat between flights
  • If you don’t have time to eat between flights, pack some of the bring along items above
  • If you have time to eat in the airport, check the airport web site beforehand and see what restaurant options are there. Check the restaurant menu if it’s posted to plan which healthy items they serve. Look for salads, grilled sandwiches, fresh fruit and vegetables.
  • Keep healthy snacks in your carry-on in case your flights change and you don’t have time to eat.

Convenience Stores

  • Check the coolers in the back of the store for yogurt, cottage cheese, hard-boiled eggs, raw carrots and hummus, and vegetable juice.
  • Look for fruit cups, a package of unsalted/ low salt nuts or sunflower seeds, string cheese, jerky, air-popped popcorn, soy crisps, individual box of whole-grain cereal, any fresh fruit or veggies.

Fast Food

Sometimes you get stuck. Look for:

  • Salads, but be careful with the dressing
  • Calorie listings – many fast food places now list calories on the menu – look for items that are 500 calories or less
  • Skip the soda, order water instead
  • If you’re at Subway, get 6” rather than 12” and look for their calorie listings. Use more vegetables and less spreads for toppings
  • Starbucks – they seem to be everywhere, and they have bistro boxes and wraps that are under 500 calories

What are your favorite tricks for healthy eating when you travel? Share in the comments below.

10 Ways to Graciously Say No

By Shannon Jones, Take Control Health Coach

One of the most important components of good health is maintaining balance in your life. Over-committing your time causes stress, and can lead to spending time on things that you don’t really value the most. We often want to please others, or not let them down, and end up committing to things that take time away from what we really want to do. Saying no is hard for many of us, but it’s an important skill to learn. Saying no allows us the time and energy to focus on our most important priorities. It allows us to reduce stress and more fully accomplish and enjoy our priorities.

Sometimes it’s hard to find the words to say no. I’ve put together some gracious ways to decline invitations and requests. Use my words, or make them your own. Saying no can be one of the best gifts you give yourself.


  • While I want to say yes, the reality of my limited time is making me say no.
  • I am honored by your request, but I’m in a season of refocusing my priorities and have committed not to add anything new right now.
  • Thank you for asking me, though I would love to say yes, the reality of my limitations means I need to say no this time.
  • I so appreciate you asking me, but I must be brave and decline this opportunity. Saying no is hard for me but necessary in this season. Thank you for understanding.
  • I’ve promised my family not to add any new commitments to my schedule right now. Thank you for our friendship, it allows me to be honest about my realities.
  • Thanks for thinking of me, but I have too much on my plate right now


  • Thank you for thinking of me. Your project sounds wonderful. However, as much as I would love to be involved, I can’t give your project the attention it deserves right now.
  • While I would love to connect about your new project, I am unable to help at this time due to my current schedule.
  • While I don’t have time to meet in person, I’d love to connect for a few minutes over the phone. I can talk from 8-8:30am.
  • Thank you so much for considering me for involvement in _____________. Unfortunately, I’m not able to participate this time. But I’m certainly confident you will find people that can help


  • Don’t be afraid to say it twice.
  • Sometimes people don’t respect boundaries, or are used to people caving if they ask again. Just because someone is persistent, doesn’t mean you have to give in. Smile politely, and say no a second time, just more firmly than the first.
  • What will you it cost to say “YES”? Time? Money? Health? Nothing comes for free.

If you’ve come up with your own gracious way of saying no, please comment below!

The Great American Smokeout

By Julie Walker, Take Control Staff

Are you ready to quit smoking or using tobacco? November 16th is the Great American Smokeout, and we encourage you to use that date to make a plan to quit. Tobacco use remains the single largest preventable cause of disease and premature death in the world. Quitting smoking has immediate short and long term benefits at any age.

Quitting is hard, but you can increase your chances of success with help. Programs like ours, along with counseling or medications, can double or triple your chances of quitting successfully.

Within minutes of smoking your last cigarette, your body begins to recover. From as early as 20 minutes, to up to 15 years later, your body heals. Your heart rate and blood pressure drop, the carbon monoxide level in your blood drops, your circulation improves and lung function increases, coughing and shortness of breath decreases. Your risk of heart disease and heart attack drops significantly. Your cancer risk decreases.

Right away, you’ll notice that food tastes better, your sense of smell returns to normal, your breath, hair, and clothes smell better, your teeth and fingernails stop yellowing, and activities leave you less out of breath. Long term, you’ll also see improvements in how you look, including premature wrinkling of your skin, gum disease, and tooth loss.

You know the benefits of quitting, so now how do you do it?

  1. Decide to quit, and make a plan. Set a date. Decide how you want to quit – will you use go cold turkey, gradual withdrawal, nicotine replacement, prescription drugs, and/or try some alternative therapies such as hypnosis, acupuncture, etc.
  1. Prepare for your quit day. Mark the date on your calendar, tell family and friends and set up a support system, get rid of cigarettes and ashtrays in your home, car, and work. Stock up on gum, carrots, hard candy, or other oral substitutes. Practice saying “no thank you, I don’t smoke.” Ask family and friends who still smoke not to smoke around you or leave cigarettes out. If you plan to use prescription drugs, pick them up before your quit date. Think about any past attempts to quit, and figure out what worked and what didn’t. Make a list of things you can do to stay busy.
  1. On your quit day. Do not smoke, not even one puff. Stay busy, use your list to go walking, hiking, activities, hobbies – things that don’t trigger you. Drink lots of water. If they are part of your plan, start using nicotine replacement or prescriptions. Attend a stop-smoking class, or follow your self-help plan. Avoid situations where the temptation or risk to smoke is strong, including avoiding people who smoke. Drink less alcohol, or completely avoid it. Think about how you can change your routine – use a different route to work, drink tea instead of coffee, eat meals in different places, or eat different foods.
  1. Fight the urge. Be prepared to feel the urge to smoke, it will pass whether you smoke or not. Use the 4 D’s to help fight the urge: DELAY for 10 minutes. Repeat if needed. DEEP BREATHE – close your eyes, slowly breathe in through your nose and out your mouth. Picture your lungs filling with fresh, clean air. DRINK WATER – slowly, sip by sip. DO SOMETHING ELSE – some activities trigger cravings, do something that doesn’t. Get up and move around.
  1. Celebrate small victories. Post about it on social media, and your friends will encourage you. Reward yourself with something you enjoy. Use an app such as Smoke Free to calculate how much money you’ve saved so far. Set a goal to reward yourself with something after you’ve saved a certain amount of money. Schedule a wellness exam to have medical results showing your health improvements in blood pressure and heart rate. Be kind to yourself and admire your strength.

We hope you choose this year to quit – let us know if we can help!



Why to Connect with a Personal Trainer

By Laura Del Guerra, RD, CDE, Take Control Health Coach

A few years ago, I found myself struggling to follow through on my intentions to eat right and exercise regularly. I was promising myself “You’ll start next week.” Then next week would come and I would continue down the same road. I weighed more than I wanted to, was out of shape, and had signed up for a week long kayaking school that I was truly unprepared for.

Realizing changing on my own would not be possible, I called the gym where I had an unused membership, and inquired about hiring a personal trainer. I will be the first to admit, this was FAR outside my comfort zone. First, I was intimidated by the idea of going to a gym, and second, I was afraid to somewhat publicly reveal my physical vulnerabilities. However, I faced my fears and it was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.

I started working with a personal trainer twice a week, and over the course of the year, the change was fairly dramatic. The first thing I noticed is how much better I moved through space. I was more flexible, my balance improved, sitting and standing were easy. I went from minimal exercise, to doing something every day and looking forward to it! I put a ton of miles on my mountain bike, hiking shoes, paddle board, and kayak.

Not only did I achieve many personal goals over time, I gained a new perspective on going to a gym and working with a trainer. I sat down with my trainer, Cole, to interview him about the benefits and misconceptions about working with a trainer.

When is a good time to hire a personal trainer?

There are several ‘good’ times:

  • When the goals you have set aren’t being attained
  • If you are using the gym and have no idea what to do for an exercise routine
  • If you just joined the gym but are not going
  • You are already fit but want to know what to do to get to the next level of fitness

What should I expect at my first meeting with a trainer?

This is a time to get to meet and begin to form a relationship. You will be asked to fill out a health history. This will provide your trainer with information on injuries, smoking history, any chronic health conditions and other important medical information. Be prepared to discuss your goals. What do you want out of this relationship? What has kept you from achieving your physical activity goals in the past? You will also do several assessments including flexibility, aerobic testing, core strength, and mobility testing.

As a trainer how do you decide which exercises will be right?

I look at what my client’s goal is. For example, Laura’s goal was to be a competent whitewater kayaker, so our focus was increasing core strength, shoulder mobility, and back strength. In addition, we focused on overall mobility, as this is something that decreases with age.

What do you tell people who say: “I don’t like gyms because everyone is so judgmental.”

Many people are not comfortable in gyms. I work to take these people into a place that is out of the way and less populated than the main part of the gym. Over time we slowly move out to more populated areas. During these times, I train them on how to safely use different pieces of equipment. I also work to ensure I do not push someone past their level of fitness.

How do you respond when people ask you if they can do the same exercises at home without a personal trainer?

This is a very individualized question and depends the person’s individual preference and needs. The answer is a question of how much do I want to rely on my trainer. Overall, the biggest thing is that people continue to exercise when they are not with their personal trainer. For some clients a training session once a week is adequate and they have a plan for exercise on other days of the week. For clients who travel extensively, for example, we build their routine around hotel gyms. And finally, some people rely heavily on their trainers meeting with them several times a week and do not want to think about exercise outside the gym.

Are all Personal Trainers the same? How do I choose one?

Trainers are as individual as the people they train. Every trainer has a different style. Because you’ll be spending time regularly with this individual, it is important that first and foremost you like your trainer. If not, you won’t be motivated to go to the gym and meeting your goals will be much harder. If you’re compatible, the next thing to look at is the trainer’s background. Ask the gym what they require of the trainers they hire. What education do they have? Do they hold a college degree? If so, in what field? What type of certifications do they hold? Not all certifications are equal. Look for trainers who are certified and hold credentials from ACSM, NSCA, and NASM. All of these things will help you pick the trainer best suited for you.

What are the biggest misconceptions about Personal Trainers?

Personal trainers are notoriously misinterpreted, especially regarding education and training. However, once you start looking into their background, you’ll typically find they know more than you think they would. Many don’t realize trainers are certified nationally or that continuing education is a requirement.

So if you’ve been thinking about working with a trainer, I highly encourage you to do so. It has been a life-changing experience for me, to finally achieve some physical goals that eluded me for years. Not only that, but I’ve acquired a new perspective about going to a gym, and I’m no longer afraid! Feel free to contact me or your health coach directly if you’d like more information about how a personal trainer could work for you.


IN CONTROL — Person of the Month: Jenni W.

By Kat Van Fossen, Take Control Health Coach

I chose Jenni W. as our Person of the Month because she showed that, even with a slow start, great results can come in the long run. She learned that losing weight is a process, starting with setting a goal of losing weight in 2 pound increments. Jenni far surpassed her own beliefs and expectations of herself by completing a marathon! She gain confidence and the strength to make good nutrition and exercise choices on a daily basis.

What made you decide to join Take Control’s Lifestyle Management program? I had been slowly gaining weight and spending less time on my health and fitness over the past several years. I reached a point where I decided “enough was enough,” and I needed to do something different to change direction. I had a gym membership which was going mostly unused, and I had almost cancelled it many times. My employer offered a gym reimbursement through Take Control, so I decided to try and utilize it as a catalyst to make a change.

What were your reasons/motivation for wanting to make changes regarding your health? My parents and in-laws began having health problems as they grew older, and I wanted to fight that and stay as healthy as possible as long as possible.

What are the biggest challenges and accomplishments in your health since you started?  What do you feel was your biggest obstacle? At this point in my life and career, my schedule is extremely busy and demanding, and I often don’t get enough sleep.  Both my schedule and fatigue create challenges for being consistent with exercise. Initially in the program, I wasn’t making a lot of progress, but about halfway through the year, I set a goal of accomplishing a marathon, and that really jump-started a significant change in my lifestyle.

What did you do to stay motivated? I found a marathon training program that I liked, and which seemed that it would be do-able with my schedule, and allow me to achieve my goal without injury. I also knew that in order to train as necessary, I needed to improve my nutrition. Finally, I set weight-loss goals in two-pound increments, and whenever I would reach a goal, I would mark the next goal on my bathroom mirror, so it was a reminder every morning and evening.

What have you gained through this process? I ran a marathon!!  Accomplishing this goal, and actually far surpassing my own beliefs and expectations of what I could do, has given me a huge confidence boost. I’m also healthier, and more inclined to make good choices about nutrition and exercise on a daily basis.

What differences do you see in yourself and the impact it has had on your health and life? I have set new goals, and have a new-found drive to work hard and place a higher priority on my health and my personal well-being. I believe that I’m also a better spouse, employee, and friend because of it.

What advice or encouragement would you give others in our program? Don’t let fear of failure hold you back. Challenge yourself with something that inspires you, and start with baby steps. If it scares you a little, it will be all the more rewarding when you accomplish it. Do it your own way – don’t feel like you have to do it the way your friends or others do.

Jenni learned how to follow healthy nutrition, and to keep her body well-fueled. She gained a good sense of work/life balance, and finds the time to take care of herself. Not only has she started training for marathons, but she is in it to win it: the marathon of a healthy lifestyle.


  • Weight loss of 15 pounds
  • Gained confidence in her body
  • Gained the ability to push herself
  • Completed a marathon
  • Gained a new high priority on her health and well-being
  • Became a better spouse, employee, and friend

September Start-Over Strategies

By Alicia Kaluza, MS, RD, LN

Do you feel like you fell off track? Well, you are not alone. Many of us go through phases of motivation, from feeling on track, to unmotivated and completely off track. So how do you start-over?

First, let’s not think of it as starting over so much as it is re-evaluating where we are going. Every time we fall off track, we can learn something from it. So we are always moving forward in some way, by learning something new, or with progress toward our goals. It’s a much more positive way to look at things. The more positive you are, the more likely you are to keep yourself moving forward.

However, if you do find yourself in a place where you are “starting over” then here are a few ideas to help you get back on track.


Write new goals. Choose 2-3 things that you can realistically achieve in the next 4 weeks. Make it a SMART goal: Specific, Measureable, Achievable, Relevant, and Timed

Example: I will go to the gym 3 times per week on Monday, Wednesday, Friday, for 30 minutes at a time.

Partner Up

Connect with a friend, family member, co-worker, or gym member — a workout buddy or accountability partner can create new motivation to tackle your goals and stay on track. Plus, it can be more fun with a friend!

Go Shopping

Buy yourself a new workout outfit or water bottle to track your water intake. Sometimes making ourselves a priority by doing something nice can reinvigorate our motivation and reason why. And when you feel good, you are more motivated to stick with it.


Clutter can cause a lot of stress and distraction. When you take some time to declutter your office, bedroom, or workout space, it can bring you a sense of relief and calmness. Reduced stress makes it easier to tackle a new task or goal.


Be intentional with your week. Start each week by writing your intentions, what you want to accomplish as a whole. Not just your specific goals, but thinking about your personal and professional needs as well.


Be realistic and patient. Don’t expect results 24 hours after you start. With patience you will see results, and you don’t have to be perfect to achieve them. The moment you stop expecting perfection, will be the moment you see the biggest change in your journey.

Use any one of these ideas, and you can find yourself back on track, and in a positive place moving forward. The biggest challenge will be taking the first steps. But ultimately, whatever start-over strategy you choose will be up to you. Just remember that you are capable, and it is never too late to make a change or get started.


IN CONTROL — Person of the Month: Cathy M.

By Julie Walker and Lindsay Watkins, Take Control Staff

Cathy had a slow start, but then around month 6 something clicked. She committed to food prep, and a food plan, and has been dedicated ever since! She is a great candidate for Person of the Month, not just because of her physical changes, but her mental changes were so apparent! She is happier, healthier and much more confident!

What made you decide to join Take Control’s Lifestyle Management program? Almost a year ago, I was recommended to apply to the Take Control program to assist me with lowering my BMI.

What were your reasons/motivation for wanting to make changes regarding your health? I had gained 20 pounds in the last four years, and was never able to get the weight off. I saw a wedding photo this year and realized it was time to make that change. I disliked the way I looked.

What are the biggest challenges and accomplishments in your health since you started?  What do you feel was your biggest obstacle? The first six months in the program did not go well for me, I struggled with eating and food selection. It wasn’t until my I hit my second blood test, I realized it was really time I take control of my life, and work hard on myself. The biggest challenge was committing to being honest with my eating and what I reported on my log. I had to commit to not cheating (a little candy here, a little chips here and there). My biggest accomplishment was sticking to a food plan (not cheating), and then seeing positive results. Wow! I discovered that it was really the food I was eating that was the big problem. My biggest obstacle was cooking. So I made a deal with my husband, and we now cook together in the kitchen every night. My favorite part of my day!

What did you do to stay motivated?  In order to stay motivated I created a journal. I wrote down everything I ate, as well as my exercise. It’s amazing to see results when you commit to something. Once I got past sugar cravings, I found my body started to improve. Having a friend like my husband cheering me on was a great thing, too. I find our nightly kitchen time is great bonding time we never had before.

What have you gained through this process? My wellness coach has been with me every step of the way. I learned that this is not a diet, it’s a lifestyle change. Making healthy choices will give you healthy results. I love how I feel now. This process was huge for me.

What differences do you see in yourself and the impact it has had on your health and life? So far, I have lost 15 pounds and over 6 inches from my body in measurements. I weigh myself weekly, take a photograph for progress tracking, and take weekly measurements. Each week varies in progress, but the scale and inches continue to change in a positive direction. I have tried so many diets over the last four years to assist me with a positive body change, but the Take Control program has given me hope, and I am loving my progress. It feels great to look in the mirror and see my old self. It’s wonderful to pull out my old clothes, and to breathe in pants without sucking it in. I am no longer afraid to be in front of the camera. I feel so much more confident, now that I’ve lost weight. This change has impacted my life in such an amazing, positive way. I feel healthier. I can run without aches and pains in my joints. I can feel my abs — and it’s been a long time since that has been the case. I am not hiding behind someone else, I am proud to stand alone and not afraid of what I look like. I included my start and current photo so you can easily see the big change in just 54 days. If I can do this, anyone can. What clicked for me was seeing my wedding photo and understanding I was not happy with myself. Now I feel more confident, I feel better inside and out. I know being healthy takes work and dedication. I use a daily log book to track everything I do from food intake to exercise. I am working on fine tuning my body and I have 8 more pounds to go to reach my goal weight. I am so thankful for the Take Control program, and the chance it’s given me to make a total lifestyle change.

What advice or encouragement would you give others in our program? My advice to others is don’t give up. Commit to your plan. If it does not go well, don’t give up. Give it time. Keep the strength and just get out there and do something. One of my favorite quotes is by Nelson Mandela:  “It always seems impossible until it’s done.”  This quote means a lot to me because I thought it was impossible to lose weight – heck, I didn’t lose any for the first six months! But I kept at it and never gave up. I switched things up, and finally saw great results.





  • Lost 16 pounds and over 17 inches so far!
  • Gained confidence
  • Learned to enjoy cooking and planning meals
  • Gained happiness


Stress Management Exercise

By Linda Hogg, RD, LN, and Julie Walker, Take Control Staff

Stress is one of the biggest roadblocks that exists when it comes to creating a healthy lifestyle. It often keeps us from getting to what really matters in life, our health and wellness. We can try to exercise and eat right, but when we get overwhelmed with stress, we get distracted and tend to abandon any plans to put our energy into what truly matters: day-to-day action steps toward health and living well.

Stress roadblocks needs to be addressed head on. Otherwise, stress becomes common-place, never budging out of the way. Stress builds slowly, and since it creeps up on us, we may not see it building until it’s overwhelming. Before your stress builds so high that you’re paralyzed, use the following exercise to stay ahead of it.

Early in the morning, or by mid-day, make a quick list of today’s stressors. Divide a piece of paper into two columns: the first column is for things you have control over. The second column is for things you do not have control over. As you brainstorm today’s tasks, keep the process simple and quick. Examples of things you have control over include doing a chore, paying a bill, making an appointment – stressors where you can identify clear action steps, or that have simple solutions.

In the right-hand column, write down the things that you don’t have control over – only time could solve them, or possibly a decision or action by another person. The decision or action needed to make these go away would not be in your control. The uncontrollable stressors may consume your thoughts. They may even keep you up at night, when in fact, they need to be put to rest so you can focus on what’s controllable. If the list of uncontrollable stressors is overwhelming, take a moment to tear off that side of your paper, tear it up, and throw it away. Let it go for the day. Turn your focus to what can be wrapped up.

Ultimately, you need time to focus on what is controllable, and what actions steps you can take to chip away at those stressors. The practice of writing down your stressors makes them, well, less stressful. Often the list is shorter or more manageable than you imagine. If the list is larger than you imagined, take a moment to prioritize it. If you’ve over-committed your time for the day or the week, look for things you can reschedule or cancel.

When you take a few minutes to be pro-active with your stressors, you free yourself emotionally to stay on track with your healthy lifestyle habits. Eating healthy and exercising are two of the best ways to reduce stress. To get there, give this exercise a try. Take a moment each morning to inventory your stressors, and remove the roadblocks which build up if left unaddressed. From there, you can move on with what plans you have to make you more healthy!


Reap the Rewards

By Kelly Sedgwick, Take Control Health Coach

Ever find yourself saying, “I know it wasn’t good for me, but I ate it because I wanted to reward myself”? Sometimes we get so focused on achieving our daily goals, we forget to stop and celebrate in a way that actually supports the goals and healthy lifestyle we’re designing for ourselves.

Rewards are something we give ourselves to celebrate achievements, but also ways we maintain our motivation to continue our pursuit and practice of living healthy. When you reach a milestone, it’s important to reward yourself and celebrate your achievement, especially since milestones are typically set a few months out and require consistent effort to achieve. Just knowing that there’s a tangible reward awaiting can help you reach your goal!

The same as it is with setting goals, setting rewards should be unique to you and something you are willing to work for to receive. Be specific about the reward and make it something you really want.

Consider these suggestions for your next reward:

  • Buy the new workout jacket, running shoes, workout pants, or heart rate monitor that you’ve been eyeing
  • Get a massage
  • Buy a personal training session or a specialty exercise class that you’ve been wanting to attend
  • Plan a vacation or weekend getaway
  • Schedule a new adventure, like zip-lining or white-water rafting
  • Go to the movies
  • Splurge on the good seats to a concert performance
  • Get a manicure and/or pedicure
  • But a great book, album, or movie that you’ve wanted
  • Schedule a day off to relax and enjoy a good book or watch your favorite movie or TV show
  • Purchase dumbbells, a medicine ball, or resistance bands
  • Buy new tool(s) or supplies for your favorite hobby

Remember, every reward should be something you’re willing to work for; and should support the goals you achieve. Be creative – set a reward that is unique, exciting and motivating to you!