Get Fit for the Holidays contest winner Colleen McCarthy does a core exercise with Desert Foothills Boot Camp instructor Rebecca Parent. Three weeks ago McCarthy could hold the position for just 25 seconds; during her fourth week she improved to 1 minute

Am I Hungry? Progress Notes: Colleen is taking it one step at a time. She has started asking herself, "Am I hungry?" whenever she feels like eating. Colleen says that for her, "hunger is a subtle feeling, like an emptiness." She's now eating more regularly but less often. In the past, being too hungry was a high-risk time for eating too much too fast. Now if she's overly hungry, she eats a small amount of food then waits awhile to allow her blood sugar to come back up. She is then able to make better decisions about what and how much to eat. Colleen has decided to take a walk after dinner to break her habit of having seconds or thirds when food tastes really good. If she still wants more when she gets back, she'll have it. This is important because like many yo-yo dieters, Colleen thinks of herself as "bad" when she breaks a "rule." Since deprivation and guilt are powerful triggers, learning a more flexible approach will help her establish healthier lifelong habits. Colleen is also becoming more aware of her other triggers, such as stress and boredom. One of her goals is to find at least five ways to nurture herself besides eating. She has also discovered the Telegraph Pass hiking trail. Although she says she can't make it up the hill yet, she knows that by going a little farther each time she'll eventually make it to the top. She's on her way! To join the next Am I Hungry? Workshop with Dr. Michelle May beginning Jan. 23, visit www.AmIHungry.com or call (480) 704-7811. * Desert Foothills Bootcamp Progress Notes: "Let's work our core!" Colleen, the AFN Get Fit for the Holiday's winner, hears that phrase from her outdoor personal trainer three times a week. You may be asking yourself, "What is my core and how do I work it?" Your "core" consists of many different muscles that stabilize the spine, pelvis and shoulders and run the entire length of the torso. These muscles provide a solid foundation for movement in the extremities. At Desert Foothills Boot Camp participants perform several core training exercises. A favorite of whose group is the "Plank." When you are in the plank position, pull your lower abdomen in toward the spine and lift your body onto your forearms. Our goal is to have participant hold this position for one minute. Three weeks ago Colleen was able to perform the plank for 25 seconds. During her fourth week of camp Colleen made it one full minute. Colleen screamed with delight as her classmates cheered. She stated she feels stronger and can tell a difference in her posture in such a short time. If you would like to join Colleen in boot camp, visit us online at www.desertfoothillsbootcamp.com. Class begins Jan. 7.

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