Are you ready? Tips on how to break through roadblocks to a better you
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January is a time when New Year’s resolutions thrive and you may be thinking about making some changes. Becoming a parent has reminded me of some significant lessons about nutrition and wellness change.

For many of my friends and family, the decision to have a baby was an easy one. As a career-focused independent female who enjoyed my freedom, however, it took me some extra time to warm up to the idea. People told me I would know when I was ready, but this was a foreign concept to me.

When I found out I was pregnant with my little boy Saul, I started hyperventilating — from excitement but also from feeling overwhelmed. I don’t know if I really ever felt ready, but I believed that I could see my future with children and that allowed me to take a step.

Whether the change you’re contemplating relates to having children or simply to improving your life in a healthy way, there are similar roadblocks to getting there. Here’s how to break through them.

You might not feel ready

I thought that the longer I contemplated becoming a mom, the more ready and prepared I would feel. I also thought I would feel more ready and prepared the longer I sat in my new role as a mom. I am learning that the only way to feel ready is to take a step.

As you move forward with change, the answers about what to do next seem to appear just when you need them. Often, waiting to feel 100 per cent ready will cause you to stagnate for months, if not years.

Think about your future and how you want it to look. Imagine the health, wellness and healthy weight you want. As long as you know where you want to end up, readiness is irrelevant.

Do it your way

I certainly felt like everyone had advice for me about when to become a mother and how to do it the “right” way. At each phase of motherhood I get advice from books and other parents on what to buy, try and do with Saul.

You will find that everyone has advice for you when it comes to eating healthier and improving your fitness. The key is to be open minded, test out a variety of strategies and find out what works for you.

If you hate going to the gym, find an outdoor activity that you enjoy. If you hate cutting up veggies, spend the extra cash on ones that are prepared. If you love a bowl of buttery popcorn in the evenings, make adjustments in your daytime nutrition plan that ensure you the flexibility to have this.

Find cheerleaders

Most of the time as a new parent, I feel like I have no idea what I am doing. Good thing my husband, family and friends are my biggest fans. Surrounding myself with positive people that can encourage me when I feel lost or overwhelmed has been essential for success.

Take a look at your family, friends and co-workers and see if they are helping or harming your ability to manage a healthy lifestyle. You may have people in your life who encourage you to eat a healthy lunch, get your seven to 10 servings of veggies and fruit each day or drink less alcohol. Surround yourself with cheerleaders such as a friend, group or coach who “walk the talk” and model the healthy choices you are trying to make.

You may also have people in your life that sabotage your health directly by coaxing you to join them in their sedentary, junk food based diet. If you cannot distance yourself from these people because they are someone close to you, try taking the lead.

Choose to take the family swimming on Friday night instead of watching a movie. If those in your house do not eat enough fruit, try cutting it up and placing it in front of the TV this evening. You might be surprised that even the naysayers join in.

Andrea Holwegner, “The Chocoholic Dietitian,” is owner of Health Stand Nutrition Consulting Inc. Visit www.healthstandnutrition.com or phone403-262-3466 for more information on personalized nutrition counselling, professional speaking and to subscribe to a blog or free monthly ezine. Mention promotional code calherald07 and for January 2011 receive a group/family nutrition counselling package for the same price as an individual package.

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"I am a psychologist in private practice and it is very important to me that my clients have the best care with other health care professionals. For that reason Health Stand Nutrition is my only source for exceptional Dietitians. Andrea and her team provide highly knowledgeable, compassionate, and real world support to my clients who require assistance with food lifestyle. I trust my clients to them and you would be in excellent hands making them part of your health care team."
Adele Fox, Psychologist
“This is the first time I feel satisfied; my cravings have diminished dramatically and I have a whole new relationship with food. I am eating guilt-free for the first time in my life. My energy has also dramatically increased and I feel great!
Rhonda Jenkins, Nutrition Counseling Client
“The Dieticians at Health Stand Nutrition help you to take action on the science behind eating well by making it practical, understandable, and fun. Their office is cozy and not at all clinical or intimidating. I felt like I was sitting down with a really smart, caring friend who wanted to help me make the best choices for my lifestyle and food preferences. They really are the best in the business.”
Marty Avery, Nutrition Counseling Client
“I have come to think of the program as a one stop shopping excursion for everything one needs to know about creating a joyous relationship with food and our bodies. In a single word, the course has gifted me with freedom from the punishing rigidity of disordered eating, old stories that never were true, and body dysmorphia that did nothing but make me lose sight of a body that has done everything I've asked, despite my careless dismissal of her needs. Now when I look in the mirror I find myself shifting from harsh criticism to gentle gratitude.”
Lynn Haley, Pursuit of Healthiness Online Course Participant
“I spent 3 hours when first diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. I learned more from my Dietitian about food in those 3 hours than I had learned in all the years of my life. I also love the newsletter, there is always something to learn.”
Peter Whitehead, Nutrition Counseling Client
“I didn’t realize how strong my “diet mentality” was, and all the rules I had in my head about food. I was in a cycle of reward/punish/binge/cringe. I booked with your business very reluctantly, on the repeated advice of my doctor, to get my slowly rising cholesterol levels in check. I thought I knew everything about food, and my behaviour with food, but I was definitely re-schooled. My weight is creeping down, I feel good about my diet, exercise, body image, and lifestyle.”
Amy Floyd, Nutrition Counseling Client
“Thanks Andrea for an amazing presentation, I have heard all positive remarks from attendees and the evaluations show the same sentiment. It is really gratifying when a speaker does their “homework” and weaves in our profession’s day to day challenges within their content, you did an awesome job of this! You truly took the “die” out of Dietician! Your information on healthy eating and simplifying how we can work towards this as we are all so busy really hit the mark. Andrea connects very well with her audience; she is energetic, funny, and very approachable.”
Carole Ann LaGrange, Transfusion Medicine Safety Officer

Event Planner for Laboratory Diagnostic Imaging Annual Event

I am a family physician who sees patients with a myriad of eating concerns – from wanting to know how to plan healthy meals for active families, to weight loss, to eating disorders, and so on. I cannot recommend the Health Stand team highly enough. I have worked with (and been to!) other Dieticians in the past and too often find that they just ask for food logs and make suggestions that are easily obtained online or in books. The Dieticians at Health Stand offer much more than just telling clients what they “should be eating.” In contrast, the team really does more of a counselling practice, and they work hard to help their clients learn more about why their eating habits may be off track and not optimal for them, as well as helping people to effect change at a deep level that, most importantly, is sustainable for lifetime health.”
Dr. Deb Putnam, Family Physician

Nutrition Counseling Client & Referring Physician

“I am a busy mom, with kids in high level sports, working full-time downtown, and running our home acreage outside the City. I now have the knowledge and tools I need to plan for and manage the chaos of meal planning.”
Gillian Gray, Pursuit of Healthiness Online Course Participant
“As a construction company, we select speakers who can relate to our industry and its employees. Andrea’s message was delivered with humor and empathy. She makes people feel as though they can make changes without leaving behind every favorite food. Andrea focused her presentation on healthy eating as a way to keep energy high throughout the day. This message and the way it was delivered resonated with our predominantly male, blue collar culture. I would highly recommend Andrea as a speaker for groups such as ours. She will get your message across without alienating anyone in your audience – which is a huge hurdle when trying to introduce a wellness program in the workplace!”
Stephanie Wood, HR and Safety Manager

Fisher Construction Group, Burlington, WA

I found my Dietitian warm, funny, and skilled at teaching nutrition concepts without the overwhelm. The general approach of each session was to mix science with emotion, which was exceedingly effective in helping me shift my perspective on food from one of anxiety to one of joy and curiosity.”
Erin Kronstedt, Nutrition Counseling Client
“Excellent presentation! What a refreshing change to have a speaker inspire rather than “lecture” about nutrition. Your captivating stories, tips and overall approach to healthy eating uplifts and puts people at ease. It was great to hear we don’t need to strive to be perfect eaters, and that small changes really can make a difference in how we feel and in our health. Thanks to Andrea, we have solutions to our everyday nutrition challenges that can actually work in real life!”
Tina Tamagi, Human Resources

ARC Resources Ltd.

“Had I not joined this course I would have struggled with no focus, low energy, and mindless eating. Excellent teaching and motivation. This is not just a course, it is a nutrition club with mentorship, support, and connections with other people with similar situations.”
Lorri Lawrence, Pursuit of Healthiness online course participant

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