Doing Life Together

recipe_food_cooking_860779_oStart your engines…the holiday eating season officially begins in a week. From Thanksgiving to New Year’s, the eating frenzy will be in full force!

If you are like most of us, you will put on an extra pound or two. And while that doesn’t sound too bad, most of us don’t lose that weight after the holidays are over.

So here are a few tips to prevent that holiday weight gain:

1) Don’t go into deprivation mode and try to resist the goodies. Mentally, this is a set up to overeat. Depriving yourself makes you want it more. Instead, tell yourself you can have it, but have it in moderation.

2) Take a bite or two and then stop. Research shows that the greatest satisfaction with food is in those first few bites. Take them slowly and savor them. Then push it away. You get the pleasure, but not the guilt!

3) Move as much as possible. Take stairs instead of the elevator. Park a ways from the mall and walk. Bundle up and take a walk. Think of ways to move more if you can’t exercise regularly.

4) Don’t go hungry to parties or events. You will overeat. Drink a full glass of water, eat a small piece of fruit and take the edge off your appetite.

5) Park yourself close to a low cal party item. If you nervously eat during holiday get togethers, make it the low cal items. Carrots and hummus versus the Christmas cookie tray.

6) Now, you are not going to like this last tip, but it does help prevent weight gain during the holidays. Weigh yourself regularly! I know, that sounds crazy but it is a reality check that keeps you accountable. People who weight themselves gain less weight.

You can do this. Get out there an enjoy all the festivities. Stay mindful of what and when you eat, pace yourself and you will do just fine!


dating 1Rachel is like so many of her friends, single but wants to be married. She is tired of being set up and being disappointed when it comes to finding the right guy. But is her complaint all about the men she meets or are there signals she gives that say, don’t date me?

The feedback on social media surveys may make her take a look at her own behavior. The surveys asked  singles what could be going wrong when it comes to finding Mr. Right.

Author and dating coach, Marni Kinrys, conducted several on-line polls in order to get a better idea of what single women might be doing wrong when it comes to dating.  Here is what she found from her readers when it comes to single women on dates:

1) Too much smart phone use. This ranked #1 on her survey. Men don’t want to compete with your phone. Keep it in your purse!

2) Bad manners. Yes, men notice this.

3) Men say, “Women don’t say what they mean or mean what they say.” This is confusing when it comes to communication.

4) Leading a man on when there is no real interest. This is a real turn off.

5) Looking unapproachable. You don’t smile or look like you want conversation. This makes it tough for a man to even approach you. Show some interest and smile.

While these may seem like small things, they are all about interest, not being self-absorbed and paying attention to your date.


upsetWhen Robert came home from work, he found his wife sitting in a chair crying. She was hurt by something that happened on the phone talking to her mother-in-law about holiday plans. Robert’s mother insisted they come to her house for the big dinner. “I think it would be better for everyone if I hosted the dinner.” Renee hung up the phone frustrated. No matter what she said or did, her mother-in-law managed to put her down or criticize her. “Your mother doesn’t like me, and I don’t know why?”

In my work with families, mother-in-law, daughter-in-law conflict comes up often. The bringing together of two women forced to like each other doesn’t always go well.

 If you want to deal with this issue, you have to confront it.

1) Begin by telling the in-law you are trying your best and would like a relationship with her. 

2) Control your emotions, be respectful, honest. Don’t get defensive, give the silent treatment or try to avoid.  

3) Prepare for a number of responses. She could apologize and tell you she had no idea; she could say she will try to work on the relationship and talk about whatever the issues involved might be; she could criticize, show contempt or avoid you. So be prepared. Think ahead how you will handle her response. 

4) If she does acknowledge room for change, then be specific about what will help. Stick to behavior and stay positive. Avoid blame.

5) Use humor to break tension. If you can laugh at yourself and little things that happen, tension is less likely to build. I’ve seen this over and over in families that manage to all get along. Laughter is good medicine. It boosts endorphins and keeps stress hormones at bay. Conflict triggers a stress reaction in the body and humor diffuses it. It changes the mood, minimizes emotional tension and reestablishes a positive tone.

6) Appreciate your differences. Families approach life differently based on their beliefs, values, customs, and history. The more you know about the family, the more you understand why they behave the way they do. Understanding is a first step in tolerance. When you marry, you become part of another family with its own set of values and differences. Recognize,  respect and talk about differences unless they are abusive or damaging.  This is usually the heart of the problem–differences in expectations.

Well, it seems the We Can’t Stop singer, can’t stop. She continues to pull out all the stops!

Her most recent antic was to smoke pot on stage during the MTV Europe Music Awards held in Amsterdam where marihuana use is legal. Miley thought it would be “fun” to smoke a joint on stage when she accepted her award.

The shock and awe continues. Although Lady Gaga already pulled this stunt in Amsterdam. Miley, you are not the first person to think of doing this.

And Miley is quick to tell us all that she could care less what we think. Really? I thought  the point is to get us all, like me right now, talking about her. She’s on a publicity high, wanting to keep her name and face in the public. And when talent can’t carry you to the top, shock and awe can keep you in the news.

Sad, so sad. I hate watching these young stars implode before our eyes. And they do it in such a cliche way– pushing the rebellion boundary with sex and drugs. There is nothing new about this. The sad part is that some end up dead or scarred for life.

And while she may not care about what we think, I care about her. Anyone can have sex and use drugs. In fact, you end up feeling used and abused with a possible addiction and sexually transmitted infection. When its all said and done, its empty.

The former church girl was made to crave a relationship with God that she is trying to fill in ways that cannot ultimately satisfy.

So while Miley may act like the world is her party right now, one day, the shock and awe will be gone. On that day, I pray someone is there to help her pick up the pieces.