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No offense to the thinnest waist in the south, Miss Scarlett O’Hara, of Gone With the Wind fame, but tomorrow truly is not another day to start your six-week program. You know the drill: tomorrow will become the day after, and then some vague Tuesday when the planets align and the moon is full.
Make a vow with me to schedule your start date right now! Pull out your calendar and choose one day over the next three to begin the program. Circle the start date on the calendar. Unless there's a real emergency, you will not move this date. And just for the record, a sale at Macy’s doesn't constitute a true 911 moment. For this program to work, you've got to take it seriously. Think of the start date like an appointment with a doctor or dentist. It may not be a lot of fun, but you respect its importance and the goal of feeling and looking your best.
Perhaps you've canceled on yourself quite a few times over the years when it came to taking care of your body. Of course, your intentions are always honorable. You mean to get started, but then you have to drive the kids to sports practice and there's that extra work project. And how in the world could you miss that two-hour American Idol special episode?
The point is, there will always be something else you could do instead of focusing on your health and well-being. Once you accept this, it becomes a case of making a formal appointment with yourself. Carve out the time, stamp it as your own, and don't allow anything to get in the way of your new goals -- short of the house being on fire or a hurricane sweeping down the street. Inform your family that you’re checking out for that time to take care of yourself.
No exceptions. No excuses. And once the results begin, you won't ever look back.
An Important Message from Me . . . to You
By reading this book, you're committing to making life changes. You're entrusting me with your valuable time, body, and dreams. I take this responsibility very seriously. I will give 100 percent back to you. I'm invested in your success. To that end, I will teach you every single tool available to ensure your victory.
My vow: There is not one thing in this book that I'll ask you to do that won't directly contribute to your goal or that I don't actually do myself. Please do every single thing that I ask of you, because skipping even one small step can make all the difference in the world.
My plan has worked for so many people, and failure isn't an option if you truly follow it.
I know you can do it, and I’m right here next to you.
Okay, enough talking. Let’s go!
Task One: Clean Out Your Kitchen
Do you want to live in an emotional war zone when it comes to food and cravings? Just wave the white flag and declare peace by kicking the enemy out of your home. Yes, it's time to do a major overhaul of your kitchen by grabbing an XL-sized garbage bag and tossing the foods that are on my ''Most Wanted Enemy List.''
Now, I realize some of you may think that you don't need to clean out your kitchen, and you're strong and committed enough to the program to peacefully coexist with the temptations that will be in your line of sight every single day. You can handle it! Maybe you have a family that can't survive without blue cheese salad dressing and large bags of chemically enhanced microwave popcorn in the house. You're going to show those diet killers that you can walk right past them every single day and not even give them a momentary glance. You might even hiss at them.
So there you are, Ms. Willpower, eating that wonderful grilled chicken salad for lunch, but in order to get to the lettuce in your fridge, you have to navigate around a big tub of homemade rice pudding. The beautiful ripe tomatoes on your counter are sharing counter space with the cheese-covered bagels you bought for your son. An innocent walk into the pantry to find some extra-virgin olive oil means facing the open box of mint chocolate Girl Scout cookies that you purchased to support those cute young carb-pushing girls.
Do you really have the kind of willpower to always say no, always make the right call, and always resist?
Why would you want to put yourself through all the torment, anyway?
Yes, you could possibly do it, but then again, you could possibly skydive and live. Are you really going to take that chance with your body?
For me, it’s an all-or-nothing proposal, which is why I'm not living, sleeping, or coexisting with the enemy. I’m tossing it out before that box of chocolate calls to me late at night, saying, ''JJ, I’m here. Come to me just for a minute. You miss me. You know you do. Let’s talk.''
This is a time when you need to practice tough love and just get rid of any foods that will derail your plan, including these culinary culprits: cookies, cakes, pastries, white bread, bagels, doughnuts, chips, dips, creamy dressings, and anything -- or should I say everything -- that comes in a box and is full of preservatives. Say bye-bye to the fake butter sprays, the microwave popcorn, and those sugary ''healthy'' (I’m rolling my eyes here) yogurts with fruit on the bottom.
Say these words with me: ''There is no such thing as a healthy light Thousand Island dressing.'' It’s chock-full of chemicals and sugar, which masks the fact that the fat has been taken out.
My eating plan, which I'll explain in the next chapter, is clean and free of chemicals. You will see amazing results when eating real foods that don't wreak havoc on your system. That's why now is the time to get rid of foods that are full of ingredients you can't pronounce.
If you can't pronounce it, don't even try it. Just introduce it to Mr. Hefty Bag. It’s not real food.
Surprisingly, there are a number of chemically based foods lurking all over your kitchen. For starters, get rid of anything with the word ''diet'' in it. Diet foods are mostly not food at all but chemistry experiments. In order to take out the sugar or fat, more sugar or fat has to be added, depending on the promise of the food. Foods that are nonfat are usually higher in sugar. There is also a heap of chemicals thrown in to keep them semitasty. Not only are these foods horrendous for your system (and stop you from losing weight as your body goes into shock mode to process the chemicals), but they're not even satisfying. Ever eat a diet ''food'' and then crave the real thing before you're even finished taking the last chalky bite?
Chuck all diet anythings into the trash. This includes the heavily processed, chemically based diet meals from whatever popular and well-advertised diet plan of the week you're following because some celeb says she dropped 50 pounds and now lives in a bikini even when it's ten below outside. We're happy for her, but we don't need the frostbite or the tasteless, freeze-dried, chemically enhanced, crappy diet foods.
So just understand that you will not be having what she's having.
If you feel bad about throwing out perfectly good food, put it into a big bag and donate it to your local homeless shelter or food bank.
Foods to Toss
The Obvious Ones
White bread in any form, including bagels, bialys, and muffins (English and otherwise)
High-sugar breakfast cereals
Jellies, including the sugar-free kind
Ice cream and frozen yogurts
Creamy or sugary salad dressings (read the labels!)
Vegetable oils, including corn, safflower, and sunflower
The Not-So-Obvious Ones
All sodas, including the diet ones
Energy and cereal bars
Fruit juices—even the ones that are 100 percent natural
Fat-free flavored yogurt
All diet foods, including diet salad dressings and frozen meals
Anything with artificial sweeteners
Processed soy foods
Jam made with all fruit
Sugar-sweetened peanut butter
Replacement foods will be covered in the next chapter. I promise that you won’t starve and soon won’t even miss the tossed items.
How to Motivate Yourself
Now that your kitchen is free of problems, it's time to get your head equally clear. The first step in that direction is to think about motivation and how you will stay gung ho and committed during not only the next six weeks but for many months and years to come. Let's be honest here. You will need something concrete to really motivate you when times get hard. There will come a day when you have a big fight with your mother on the phone or your boss is really demanding. Maybe the car won't start and your kids are screaming. Suddenly the idea of motivation is out the window and all you want is a Snickers bar.
Or you didn't work out, and suddenly it's eight o'clock on a cold winter night. You're exhausted because it has been such a long day. You figure that it wouldn't be the end of the world if you just skipped one night of exercise. Then you remember that you already skipped another night … and another.
How can you keep from derailing your program? You need something that kicks you in the can when times get hard and all you want to say is “&^%$ it!”
Believe me, at some point you will say, ''&*^% it, I want that piece of cake.'' Or ''I’m a little too tired to put on my athletic shoes and move.'' It happens to all of us. But before you pick up a fork and dig into fatty, sugary frosting or write off the gym, I have an idea that’s personal kryptonite against program destroyers.
The Power of Projection
I’ve found one of the best motivators is simply projecting your ideal body. It may seem silly, but really, I want you to do the following ''before'' and ''after'' exercise. I promise it will keep you mentally motivated during even the toughest and most challenging moments.
Hit the magazines and find a picture of an actress or athlete you dream of looking like after completing this program. Maybe you love Hilary Swank's strong, ...
I a little disappointed in that I expected more detail and more exercises or techniques for improving the arms. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Ginger Garza
This is much more than a book on how to have nice upper arms! It is full of useful info on how to be generally fit and healthy--worth the price!Published 2 months ago by Suzy Q
JJ Virgin is awesome!!! Her books are sooo informative and easy to follow. Highly recommend.Published 2 months ago by Missouri customer
good info. on nutrition as well as the exercise info that you would expect.Published 3 months ago by Susan O'Brien
I listened to JJ on Ben Greenfield's podcast and was impressed with what she shared; however this book was a huge disappointment because it is nothing but a repeat of exactly what... Read morePublished 6 months ago by Donna G. McCurley
Nothing very new. If you don't know anything about nutrition then it's worth the money.Published 8 months ago by Nan