In the Zone - December 2011

In this Issue:

Featured Article

Reaching Your New Year’s Resolutions

Can you believe it? 2012 is fast approaching! Celebrating New Year’s Eve is something that comes to mind. Quickly followed by creating a list of resolutions and things we want to do differently in the New Year. Usually the night prior, we find ourselves creating a list of many items that we want to accomplish. By the time we are done, we have exhausted ourselves with the daunting tasks of feeling the need to achieve all of our resolutions. However, what ends up happening is we tend to sticking with a few resolutions for a few weeks or months but rarely the entire year. Frankly, it does not have to be this way. Read and try the tips below to learn how to stick with and reach your 2012 New Year’s Resolutions!

1.Before January 1st

We have all been in situations where it is literally an hour or two before the ball drops, conversing with loved ones and friends as we are all deciding, verbalizing and writing out our New Year’s Resolutions. Sound familiar? Let me tell you, by waiting until the last minute, you are setting yourself up for failure before you even start. Sounds dramatic, but if you want to set yourself up for success, then come up with your New Year’s Resolutions now or any time BEFORE January 1st!

2.Pick One or Two

It is fine to a list of several different resolutions that you want to accomplish. However, please keep in mind that you might only stick with and accomplish two on the list, which is completely okay. If having additional goals on your list is going to make you feel like a failure if you do not accomplish them, then create another list that has the main one or two 2012 resolutions. Save the rest for the following year. I am suggesting this, because some goals consist of many different behavior changes. For example, remembering to take your vitamins daily and lose 10 lbs. Weight loss is comprised of several different behavior changes as opposed to remembering to take vitamins daily. You can set an alarm to help you remember to take your vitamins. However, losing weight consists of eating less, picking healthy foods at the grocery store, starting or increasing the amount you exercise, just to name of few! I would suggest tackling weight loss by itself, as you want to stick with your weight loss goal, reach and maintain the weight loss during the rest of the year.

3.Goal Setting (SMART Goals)

An aggressive or impossible New Year’s Resolution can be made possible, by embracing and utilizing goal setting. Specifically, I believe in SMART goals. The SMART acronym itself stands for:

  • S stands for Specific. Stating exactly what and how you want to achieve, is essential part. The more specific you can be with your goal, the more likely you will be successful. For example, wanting to lose 15 lbs. is more specific than just wanting to lose weight.
  • M stands for Measurable. You need to be able to measure and monitor your progress. Going back to losing weight, you can chart your weight loss progress from week to week. Once you reach your 2012 resolution, make sure you keep monitoring your progress while maintain your weight loss.
  • A stands for Attainable.  Your resolution must be possible for you to attain and should be within your limits. Back to the weight loss example, if you want to lose 50 lbs. than I recommend breaking this goal into long and short term goals to keep you on track!
  • R stands for Realistic. The essence of being realistic is that you are not only willing but are able to work towards the goal. The goal you set should be a stretch for you, not easy. In relation to weight loss, it is realistic to believe you can lose 10 lbs. if your current weight is 140 lbs. However; if your current weight is 90 lbs. losing 10 lbs. is not realistic. Review your resolutions and make sure they are realistic.
  • T stands for Timely. You should set a timeframe for which you want to reach your goal as it will help give you sense of urgency. Losing 15 lbs. can be reasonably done in 2 months, but nearly impossible in 3 weeks.

4.Visible View

Once you have picked one or two New Year’s Resolutions before January 1st and used the SMART goal setting method; your next step is to put your 2012 New Year’s Resolutions and the steps in eye’s view! Put them on your bathroom mirror, closet door, in your car, at your office, etc. You get the picture! You should have a reminder in the most frequent places that you look. Repeat and remind yourself regularly!

5.Positive Approach

We always hear the saying that attitude is everything. When it comes to sticking and trying to reach your goals, the process can be challenging and daunting. Experiencing setbacks and road blocks are going to happen, so expect them but they also can cause your positive attitude to fly out the window. However, maintaining a positive approach, no matter how challenging the road block, we not only motivate ourselves but also have a positive effect on those around us who may be struggling. Keeping a positive approach while trying to reach your goal can make it seem more attainable!

6.Support System

While you are planning ahead, you may find that some of your friends or family members have the same New Year’s Resolution as you! This is wonderful news! You can help keep each other accountable and on track! Having a support system, when times become challenging, is a tremendous help in sticking with and reaching your New Year’s Resolution!

Bottom line…Start small! Take one New Year’s Resolution and follow these steps. Stick with it, stay on track and constantly remind yourself of your 2012 New Year’s Resolution! Make this year different from the start! Avoid burnout and falling off the band wagon!

On another note, I would love to hear from you! If you have any topics or questions, please email them to me! If you have been able to successful reach a prior New Year’s Resolution, please share them with me! I love to hear stories of success and would love to include them in my newsletters!

Much Love,

Dede Barbanti



Tomato-Basil Chicken


  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 5 ounces of skinless, boneless chicken breast
  • 1 1/2 cups of diced cherry tomatoes
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped basil
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

Preparation method


  1. Heat a pan over medium heat and add 1 teaspoon of olive oil.
  2. Add skinless, boneless chicken breast to the pan and cook on each side for 6 minutes or until done.
  3. In a bowl combine and mix the following items: 1 teaspoon olive oil, balsamic vinegar, basil and cherry tomatoes.
  4. Serve the chicken with the tomato-basil mixture with on top, along with steamed vegetables of your choice and sliced avocado.

Serves 4


Pat M.

Like many people, I had the same story with being overweight (my late teens and 20’s). I did manage to drop 60-plus pounds with Weight Watchers (over 30 years ago), and kept it off for many years by playing tennis, walking, spinning, and generally being active. I’ve never really liked to work out with weights or join a fitness club.  I’ve always eaten well, but I still like my chocolate, bread, and sweets … so about 10-15 pounds always seem to creep back on. I always managed to take them off, but then about 3 years ago I was diagnosed with osteopenia, and decided to get serious about working out, and do some serious weight-bearing exercise, in order to avoid taking the medication. Also, those 10-15 pounds had also come back. 
Read my Full Success Story

Ask Dede

Q. My question is in regards to working out and I’m interested to hear your thoughts, as I always hear mixed and conflicting information. I heard that morning workouts can burn more calories than evening workouts?

Dede’s Response:
Opinions vary on whether working out in the morning is more effective than the evening, although your best workout typically is the one most convenient for your lifestyle and one that you will stick with. Below I listed the benefits of working out at different times; see what works best for you!

Morning Workouts:
Athletes often prefer morning workouts over the evening, since physical activity provides a mood boost that can lasts for several hours and might help you cope better with daily stress. Exercise also provides increased energy, so you'll likely be able to accomplish your daily tasks with greater efficiency. A workout in the morning might give you a greater chance to exercise regularly, as working late often forces canceled sessions.

Evening Workouts:
Some recommend scheduling your workouts when your body temperature is at its peak, often in the late afternoon or early evening. An increased body temperature means your muscles will be warm and you'll likely have increased flexibility for vigorous activities like basketball or racquetball. People who strength train with weights might prefer lifting after work when fatigue is less likely, since muscles have more energy and are less prone to suffer fatigue. Weightlifting in the morning is often ineffective, since your levels of glycogen, or reserve fuel, are lower.

The key here is consistency! While morning and evening workouts offer unique benefits, you'll be more likely to perform effectively when you exercise at a time most comfortable for your lifestyle. Early risers are unlikely to enjoy working out in the evening, while night owls will gain few benefits from a sluggish exercise session in the morning. Increase your chance for consistency by picking several activities you enjoy, working out with a friend in a comfortable environment and exercising only when your body feels ready.

Love the pain!
Dede Barbanti