Wednesday, August 27, 2008

You Can't Buy Fitness

From Denise Austin today:
You Can't Buy Fitness!

Wouldn't it be great if by paying for a gym membership or joining the Fit Forever! plan, you'd lose weight and get fit? Unfortunately, it doesn't work that way! You've got to live the program to see the results! So, if you're not seeing the inches and pounds come off, ask yourself the following questions — and be honest!

* Are you following your meal plans exactly as directed?
* Are you drinking enough water every day?
* Are you working out at least three to five times per week?
* When you work out, do you give it all you've got?

If the answer to all of these questions isn't yes, reflect on what's keeping you from making the changes required to reach your goal. How can you eliminate those barriers? Keep in mind that slow and steady wins the race — it's the little daily choices you make that make a difference. So be patient, have reasonable expectations, and hang in there! The results will be worth it!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Healthy You Challenge

Still working on it and trying to get a big gain back off. Blech. Have been feeling so weird, but keeping up on the ballroom dance for exercise and my new mini-trampoline. I've been pmsing for a couple weeks now and I'm 5 days later than last month after being 2 days early 2 months in a row. Perimenopause - it's a wonderful thing - NOT!

I must confess that while I am disappointed in my gain and not thrilled about it, my son's accident made me take a step back and remember what is TRULY important. I will get back into my healthy habits, I won't backslide all the way. But it's OK to take a break from being so focused on ME all the time.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Lost momentum

Have you seen mine??????

I've been feeling just plain weird lately. Had a major back, chest, lung spasm on Sunday. Not sure what happened. It was after I inflated my new stability ball and Ken and I were assembling my new little trampoline. (My old stability ball was killed by my son throwing the cat on it, who naturally put out four paws worth of claws to catch herself. I missed the show, but was told about it by my kids.) So I've got the tools. I did stretch out on the ball Sunday and yesterday. This morning I jumped on the trampoline for 10 minutes. Tonight Ken and I had a private dance lesson and had a pretty good cardio workout for an hour. It was a lot of fun. So I definitely haven't been a total couch potato, but I haven't been able to control my eating. That time of the month is approaching so that's part of it but I want to get this under control FAST!!

Finally made appointments to follow up on the medical stuff for me. Getting the needle biopsy done on the nodule in my thyroid on Sep 2. THIRD colonoscopy is scheduled for Sep 17th. Ugh. Decided to go ahead and just get that done again because the prep for the barium enema sounds just as bad.

Enjoying my new Dodge Journey. That's the bright spot of the van being totalled. Insurance has settled everything really quickly. I'm impressed with Allstate.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Nine Cold, Hard Weight Loss Truths

Great article!

Nine Cold, Hard Weight Loss Truths
By: Brie Cadman

Even if you’re not trying to lose weight, chances are you’ve seen some ideas on how to do so:

“Eat what you want and lose weight!”
“Lose thirty pounds in thirty days!”
“Finally, a diet that really works!”
“Lose one jean size every seven days!”
“Top three fat burners revealed”
“Ten minutes to a tighter tummy!”

But these claims are readily rebuked by anyone who’s tried to lose five, ten, or one hundred pounds. Losing weight ain’t that easy. It’s not in a pill, it doesn’t (usually) happen in thirty days, and judging from the myriad plans out there, there is no one diet that works for everyone.

Looking past the outrageous claims, there are a few hard truths the diet/food industry isn’t going to tell you, but might just help you take a more realistic approach to sustained weight loss.

1. You have to exercise more than you think.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends getting at least thirty minutes of moderate exercise most days of the week; this includes things like shoveling snow and gardening. And while this is great for improving heart health and staying active, research indicates that those looking to lose weight or maintain weight loss have to do more—about twice as much.

For instance, members of the National Weight Control Registry (NWCR)—a group of over 5,000 individuals who have lost an average of sixty-six pounds and kept it off for five and a half years—exercise for about an hour, every day.

A study published in the July 28, 2008 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine supports this observational finding. The researchers enrolled 200 overweight and obese women on a diet and exercise regimen and followed them for two years. Compared with those that gained some of their weight back, the women who were able to sustain a weight loss of 10 percent of their initial weight for two years exercised consistently and regularly—about 275 minutes a week, or fifty-five minutes of exercise at least five days a week.

In other words, things like taking the stairs, walking to the store, and gardening are great ways to boost activity level, but losing serious weight means exercising regularly for an hour or so. However, this doesn’t mean you have to start running or kickboxing—the most frequently reported form of activity in the NWCR group is walking.

2. A half-hour walk doesn’t equal a brownie.
I remember going out to eat with some friends after a bike ride. Someone commented on how we deserved dessert because we had just spent the day exercising; in fact, we had taken a leisurely twenty-minute ride through the park. This probably burned the calories in a slice of our French bread, but definitely not those in the caramel fudge brownie dessert. Bummer.

And while it’s easy to underestimate how many calories something has, it’s also easy to overestimate how many calories we burn while exercising. Double bummer.

Even if you exercise a fair amount, it’s not carte blanche to eat whatever you want. (Unless you exercise a ton, have the metabolism of a sixteen-year-old boy, and really can eat whatever you want). A report investigating the commonly-held beliefs about exercising, published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association, concludes that although exercise does burn calories during and after exercise, for overweight persons, “excessive caloric expenditure has limited implications for substantially reducing body weight independent of nutritional modifications.” In other words, to lose weight, you have to cut calories and increase exercise.

3. You have time to exercise.
If you have time to check email, watch a sitcom or two, surf the internet, have drinks/coffee/dinner with friends, go clothes shopping, and on and on, then you have time to exercise. Yes, sometimes you have to sacrifice sleep, TV, or leisure time to fit it in. Yes, sometimes you have to prioritize your exercise time over other things. But your health and the feeling you get after having worked out is well worth it.

4. Eating more of something won’t help you lose weight.

The food industry is keen to latch onto weight loss research and spin it for their sales purposes. A prime example is the widespread claim that eating more dairy products will help you lose weight. However, a recent review of forty-nine clinical trials from 1966 to 2007 showed that “neither dairy nor calcium supplements helped people lose weight.”

This idea—that eating more of a certain type of product will help you lose weight—is constantly regurgitated on supermarket shelves (think low-fat cake, low-carb crackers, high in whole grain cookies, and trans fat-free chips), but is in direct opposition to the basic idea behind weight loss—that we have to eat less, not more.

5. Calories in = calories out?
There is a fair amount of controversy over the basic question of how people gain weight. Is it simply a matter of energy intake being greater than energy expenditure? Or is there more too it; do the type of calories we eat matter and can avoiding certain types help to lose or prevent weight? The low-fat, low-carb, and glycemic index advocates can’t seem to agree on which it is.

However, most can agree, and logical sense would tell us, that drinking 500 calories of soda is not equal to eating 500 calories of chicken and broccoli. One is simply “empty” calories—those that provide no real nutritional benefit and don’t do much to combat hunger. Whether you ascribe to the simple idea of trying to burn more calories than you take in or focus on avoiding certain types of calories, you want to minimize intake of empty calories, and maximize nutrient-dense calories.

6. Your body is working against you.

Most people have noticed that it’s hard to lose weight, but easy to gain it. This is a relic of harder times, when food was not as abundant as it is today. Our genetic taste buds made energy-dense food desirable because it was necessary to pack away calories so we could make it through the thin times. We feasted when we could, in preparation for the famine.

But now that we live in a time of abundance, that system predisposes many of us for weight gain and retention. And for obese dieters, this system is even harder to overcome; after weight loss, they become better at using fuel and storing fat, making it harder to keep weight off. However, this isn’t to say that many haven’t lost weight and kept it off successfully. It just means you have to be diligent.

7. Our cultural environment is also working against you.
Let’s face it, American society does not make it easy on those trying to eat healthfully and exercise. According to Linda Bacon, associate professor of nutrition at UC Davis, “We get a tremendous amount of pressure to eat for reasons other than nurturing ourselves, and over time, people lose sensitivity to hunger/fullness/appetite signals meant to keep them healthy and well nourished. It’s hard for people to come to a healthy sense of themselves given the cultural climate, and nutritious and pleasurable options for healthy food are not as easily accessible as less nutritious.”

That doesn’t mean this can’t be overcome, but it does require maybe putting other parts of your life on a “diet.” TV would be the biggest culprit, since many food advertisements, especially for children’s junk food, come during this time. Other areas to put on a “diet” are chain and fast food restaurants (where portion sizes are distorted), a bad-influence friend, or driving, which may help increase walking and biking.

8. Maybe you don’t need to lose weight.
Some feel that the medical problems associated with excess weight are exaggerated. Gina Kolata, a New York Times science writer questions the notion that thin is a realistic or necessary objective for most. In her book, Rethinking Thin, she asserts that weight loss is an unachievable goal for many, and that losing weight isn’t so much about health as it is about money, trends, and impossible ideals. Recent research also challenges the idea that being overweight is bad. A study in JAMA found that being twenty-five pounds overweight did not increase the risk of heart disease and cancer, and may even help stave off infections.

It’s true that people can be fit and healthy and not necessarily be thin, just as it’s true that thin people may not necessarily be healthy. Good health, rather than weight, should be our focus; too often, it’s not. Striving for an unhealthy level of thinness may be detrimental to our health, but understanding the health repercussions of obesity is also critical.

9. This is not a diet; this is your life.
The diet industry would have us all think that we can lose weight fast, and that’s that. But most people who maintain their weight understand that eating and exercising are not temporary conditions, to be dumped once a pair of jeans fit. Instead, they are lifestyle choices, and ones to be made for the long haul.

First published August 2008
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Drink your water!

From Denise Austin:
Drink Your Daily Water
If you're not a water drinker — well, tough luck! I know that may sound harsh, but drinking water every day is key to good health. Plus, your body is made up mostly of water — doesn't it make sense to replenish the good old H2O instead of filling up on soda pop or sugary fruit juices? Here's another doozy: Did you know that the brain often mistakes thirst for hunger? Before running to the nearest snack machine, try drinking a few glasses of water first. So how much water do you really need? Well, a general rule of thumb is about eight ounces of water eight times a day, but there's no scientific evidence to support that recommendation. In fact, some experts actually recommend 13 glasses of H2O for men and nine for women! That may seem like a lot of water, but your body loses about ten glasses of water in the course of a day! And if you're exercising, pregnant, or breastfeeding, or you live in a hot or humid climate, your water loss is increased, so your intake should be upped! So drink up — it's H2Ohhhh so good for you! Here's a tip: If you're having a hard time getting used to the taste of water, try adding a lemon wedge for a hint of sweetness.

June's note - just don't get the lemon wedge when you are eating out. The studies they've done on restaurants show that most of them have bacteria laden lemon and lime that they put in drinks. Ugh.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Check in

Not a great week. Weight has been inching up once again. I did do weight lifting yesterday and we'll be doing an hour of dance tonight. Busy this morning picking up my new vehicle. Details on my family blog.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Monday, August 4, 2008

Chocolate - A Not-So-Guilty Pleasure

Check out this article.

For those of you asking about the chocolate parties - it's Dove Chocolate at Home (now known as Dove Chocolate Discoveries) - a direct sales business where we do chocolate tasting parties. It is fairly new all over. The western states were just opened up to it on May 1. We're having so much fun with it! I really worked my butt off in July and will be taking it a little easier in August. But we do have some awesome incentives for August, so I'll be getting on the phone tomorrow. :-D

Sunday, August 3, 2008

One of the keys to health

Ballroom dancing with your husband. :-)