Weight loss support with a spiritual element. I will keep you posted on my journey in the hopes that you will join me in becoming the person God wants you to be. Don't worry about being religious. Come as you are.




Monday, January 31, 2011

The Best Life

"Each day you take a few small steps, then build on them day after day. There may be set backs, everyone has them, but those victories will add up, and then pretty soon you'll be amazed at how different your life has become. And what could be more alluring than the prospect of waking up to your best life? So roll up your sleeves and get to work!"

"Remember, every step you take toward reaching your weight loss goal is really a gift that you give to yourself. When you eat right and exercise, you are taking care of yourself, treating yourself with respect, and acknowledging that you deserve* to be healthy and happy.” (Bob Green, The Best Life)

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Live in Love

Our bodies were not created to house our fears, but rather to house our love. And in our heart, we know this. Our deepest yearning is not just for our bodies to look good but also for our bodies to be good. With this thought, we can take our wishes that this were so, turn them into an intention that it be so, expand that into a willingness that they be so, invite God to help us make them so. . . and they shall be so.
 
“Know what you want to do, hold the thought firmly, and do every day what should be done, and every sunset will see you that much nearer the goal."
Dear God,

Please show me how to live in love.
May a new kind of eating
come naturally from a new way of being.
I devote not only my appetites
but every part of me to You.
Where fear has blocked me,
may love now free me.
Please teach me, God,
how to live my life
in the light of love,
that fear shall be no more.

Amen

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Playing Dumb

Oswald Chambers - "God will not give us good habits; He will not give us character, He will not make us walk aright. We have to do that for ourselves; Beware of the tendency of asking the way when you know it perfectly well."

Friday, January 28, 2011

Pre-Cheating

And then there is “pre-cheating.”  What’s the difference?  Cheating is… well… cheating.  For me, I guess that means going off my diet plan.  Sometimes it is planned; sometimes it is not.  Sometimes it is just a little splurge or slip; sometimes it is a big binge.  Sometimes it lasts minutes; sometimes it lasts a very long time.  Whatever you call it, and whether you do it or not, I suspect you know what I mean.
But I also do something else that, when I described it to my husband, he labeled “pre-cheat.”  The cheating that comes in anticipation of something else.  For me, there are two key scenarios when this happens.

Karen’s pre-cheat scenario one: dreading anticipating the upcoming social event.   Maybe this happens to you.  A social event is coming up and you know that the food served will be off your plan.  Maybe all of it; maybe some of it.  Regardless, you know it will be hard to eat healthy, even if you want to do so.  And you know that temptation will rear its ugly head.  For me, this often leads to feelings of resentment in anticipation of the event.  Resentment that I have to go.  Resentment that I will be tempted.  Resentment that I may not be able to trust myself.  Resentment that my careful planning is going to be disrupted and resentment that my inner control freak is going to have to give up control.  Resentment.  So as I anticipate the likely cheating that will happen come the event, I head for the pantry.  Or the refrigerator.  And I eat.  I pre-cheat.  Maybe it is a clear emotional-eating response.  Resentment is a pretty strong emotion.  As are all the other things I might be feeling, like lack of control and lack of self trust.  And I think another driver behind the pre-cheating is the notion that “I am going to go off my plan soon so why bother trying to stick to it now?”  I know this is totally illogical thinking.  The rational approach would be to buckle down and be extra dedicated and plan for a little potential splurge.  But some days I am just not logical.  Especially when it comes to food.  And any perceived lack of control.

Karen’s pre-cheat scenario two: the diet starts tomorrow.  Or next week.  Any time in the future.  Have you done this too?  Consciously eaten food before the diet starts?  Shovel it all in now, get it out of your system, the last Oreo, the last ice cream cone, the last whatever.  All of it.  Enjoy it while you can.  I have restarted some version of a diet more times than I can remember and most of those restarts were preceded by a pre-cheating binge.  And, yes, I will admit that not too long ago I rededicated my eating and the day before my umpteenth restart, I went out and bought bagels.  I ate two.  And I also took a field trip to the newly discovered self-serve frozen yogurt shop.  And had a candy bar.  All things that I knew I would not be doing or eating in the coming months.  I gave into some old binge mentality that told me to get them while I could.
Here is the oddity for me about pre-cheating:  it comes on the heels of regular cheating.  If I am eating well consistently, I do well all around.  I may worry and resent an upcoming social situation, but the anticipation doesn’t send me on a three day eating bender.  And when I am eating well there is no need to restart so no last hurrah of eating.  For me, cheating begets cheating.  And ending cheating often begets cheating.  But constantly “not cheating” leads to more “not cheating.”  Either way, the momentum seems to build for me.  In a good way or in a bad way.

http://waistingtimeblog.com/2010/09/13/which-came-first-the-cheat-or-the-pre-cheat/

I thought I was the only one who did this.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Change Your Mind/Change Your Body

Your body is not separate from your mind so much as it is a reflection of it. As you change your mind, you change every cell in your body.

A Course in Weight Loss by Marianne Williamson has been a great tool for me. I recommend it highly. I have the book which I have read, underlined, etc., and the CD's to listen to as I drive. I do not have the meditations product. That's a little more New Age than I am. Prayer is my method.

Such thoughts as I am fat, I am ugly, and I hate my body are like commands given to your body to materialize accordingly. If you think negatively about your body your body will reflect your negativity. If you think lovingly about your body, then your body will reflect your love. And there is no such thing as a neutral thought. What is not love, is an attack. And what is love, is a miracle.

Let us now devote our bodies to be used for holy purposes. Holy purposes are love and love only, and as we devote our bodies to love, all that is not love can no longer hold sway within it. Whatever is dedicated to the purposes of love is protected from the energy of chaos.

Write down this line:  I eat in a way that supports my being of service to love.

That is a good one, by the way, to put on a Post-It and keep on your refrigerator door. (I don't want everyone coming and going to read something like this on my frig so I would probably keep it inside by Bible or somewhere where I would come across it daily).

Begin each day with a prayer:

Dear God,
As I awaken on this day, may my body and mind serve Your purposes.
May nothing but Your Spirit be upon me.
May my body be a temple to Your Spirit and a conduit of love.
Amen

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Where's the Fire?

What's the hurry? I used to get so sick of hearing that the weight wasn't gained in two weeks and it won't be lost in two weeks either. I know that. Shut up.

However, it's true. I must again recommend a book I am reading - Why We Get Fat and What to do About It by Gary Taubes - He completely puts to rest that calories in/calories out myth. You will be so thankful that you read this book and will buy me presents for recommending it. I have it on my Kindle or I would offer to loan it - I guess that's the only downfall of books on Kindle but I do love that thing - buy that too.

There is a $139 version where you have to be in a hot spot in order to download things but with the $189 version downloads can happen anywhere. Amazon has same as cash arrangements now if that would help.

The weight will come off if we make lifestyle changes like giving up sugar - that stuff is poison. Read about it in the book.

Even if the weight comes off slowly at least we will be going in the right direction and at least we won't be getting bigger and bigger like we have been doing. If we want the weight to stay off we are going to have to live like this daily anyway so JUST DO IT!! We have to do the same things to keep off 5 pounds that we have to do to keep off 105 pounds so there you have it. We are such babies. Wah Wah Wah.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Stay Calm and Carry On

Are you like me and get that anxious, panicky feeling when it's almost time to eat but not quite or at night when it's getting kind of tense wondering whether there's something good to eat in the kitchen? Wondering if we can have a successful day? I wonder if we give in at night because we are so used to failing that inside that voice tells us that since we are going to fail sooner or later anyway why not just go ahead and eat and get the failure over with?

I start reasoning with myself when that panic feeling sets in. I ask myself what I am afraid of? Why does this bother me? Most importantly it is imperative to stay in control; to keep my head on straight. Just stay calm and carry on. Food is everywhere. When I get truly hungry there will be food and really good food at that.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Let's Pluck Out An Eye

I guess I am a frustrated preacher :-) Let's consider what Jesus was saying when he said "If your eye offends you, pluck it out; if your hand offends you, cut it off". Mark 9:43-47.

Wasn't Jesus just saying, Stop It? If there is something in our lives that offends us, that we don't want there shouldn't we Stop It? What is this behavior doing for us? Why do we continue in something that is obviously self-destructive? I don't know; I am truly puzzled why I would overeat when I want to be slim and wear nice clothes again.

A sign of maturity is doing what needs to be done, when it ought to be done, whether we want to or not. Let's all grow up, believe me this includes me, and endure some discomfort to get what we want. One of the sayings at Weight Watchers is "nothing tastes as good as being thin feels". How elated would we be if tomorrow morning we woke up and weighed what we want to weigh? Can we all wake up tomorrow morning and be closer to that goal? Let's vow to wake up every morning elated that we are closer to our goal rather than depressed and unhappy because we pushed reaching that goal farther away because we couldn't find the strength to resist our demon.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Don't Judge A Book By Its Cover

Don't Judge a Book by its Cover
His name is Bill. He has wild hair, wears a T-shirt with holes in it, jeans and no shoes. This was literally his wardrobe for his entire four years of college. He is brilliant. Kind of esoteric and very, very bright. He became a Christian recently while attending college.

Across the street from the campus is a well-dressed, very conservative church. One day Bill decides to go there. He walks in with no shoes, jeans, his T-shirt, and wild hair. The service has already started and So Bill starts down the aisle looking for a seat.

The church is completely packed and he can't find a seat. By now people are really looking a bit uncomfortable, but no one says anything. Bill gets closer and closer and closer to the pulpit and, when he realizes there are no seats, he just squats down right on the carpet. (Although perfectly acceptable behavior at a college fellowship, trust me, this had never happened in this church before!)

By now the people are really uptight, and the tension in the air is thick. About this time, the minister realizes that from way at the back of the church, an Elder is slowly making his way toward Bill. Now the Elder is in his eighties, has silver-gray hair, and a three-piece suit. A godly man, very elegant, very dignified, very courtly. He walks with a cane and, as he starts walking toward this boy, everyone is saying to themselves that you can't blame him for what he's going to do.

How can you expect a man of his age and of his background to understand some college kid on the floor? It takes a long time for the man to reach the boy. The church is utterly silent except for the clicking of the man's cane.

All eyes are focused on him. You can't even hear anyone breathing. The minister can't even preach the sermon until the Elder does what he has to do. And now they see this elderly man drop his cane on the floor. With great difficulty he lowers himself and sits down next to Bill and worships with him so he won't be alone.

Everyone chokes up with emotion. When the minister gains control, he says, "What I'm about to preach, you will never remember. What you have just seen, you will never forget. Be careful how you live. You may be the only Bible some people will ever read."

I have an aunt who quit smoking because she said that she thought it hurt her witness. I have always wondered if the witness of someone who professes to be a Christian is hurt by being obese. I guess that's a question each Christian will have to answer for him- or herself.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Let's Pick up Our Mat and Walk

The wisdom of scripture is amazing is it not? Let's consider the crippled man lowered down to Jesus through the roof because of the crowd. Jesus said to him, "Your sins are forgiven, take up your mat and walk". (Mark 2:1-12) What's keeping us from getting up off that mat and walking on our own? What sin keeps us down on that mat and unable to walk with strength and determination?

I think we both want that sin because we enjoy it and we also want "to have our cake and eat it too". We want sin and salvation. We want to keep on sinning and be forgiven each time and suffer no consequences.    1 John 3:6 - No one who lives in Him keeps on sinning. No one who continues to sin has either seen Him or known Him. Pretty strong words. It is time to repent, truly repent and quit taking this lightly. I have sat in Weigh Down Workshop classes and Weight Watchers classes and watched people come in and make a joke about their overeating and laugh--and then the others in the class help them to minimize the importance of staying on track with their eating. We comfort ourselves with "God doesn't care what we look like" and "God looks on the heart". Are we sure He doesn't care what we look like? What does a heart look like that doesn't take gluttony seriously?

The difference between a Christian and a non-Christian regarding sin is that sin bothers us and it does not bother the non-Christian. If we touched a hot stove would we stop it? Would we keep on touching it? Each slip should become an event of truly repenting and asking God to forgive us. He does forgive of course but how serious are we in our efforts to do better or is it like that half-hearted "sorry" given to the parent or the teacher just to get past the moment and back to what we were doing?

I know I need to repent again and go forward without that stupid mat.

I have noticed that giving up sugar and watching carbs has given me more energy. I am not dead tired in the evening like I was. I know the one article I quoted reported that people need to stay at 20 carbs or less per day to lose weight. I once saw a diet where it was around 30 carbs per day. I am eating one apple per day which is some carbs and I use the Ezekiel bread. I am careful to get in the veggies which is a nice salad when I can be generous with the ranch dressing. I like hard boiled eggs and I will die if there is ever crop damage to the peanut crop. I eat dry roasted peanuts, unsalted, that I get at Meijer and peanut butter on a piece of toasted Ezekiel bread with sugar free syrup is pretty yummy for breakfast. Peanut butter has carbs and I need to shop around for one of the natural brands but they separate and must be stirred back together. I guess it wouldn't kill me to zap it a little in the microwave so it can be stirred more easily. If you are ever out and are wondering what low carb fast food is available go to Subway and get their very veggie sub as a salad. I have them cut up a chicken breast and bacon to put on it, cheese of course, ranch dressing and absolutely every vegetable in the case - it is so good. You could pick up one of these on the way home for your supper. I was reading the carbs in the bags of chips they have available - believe me don't get any. I drink water that I take with me in the car each day for my route. My only complaint about that is having to find restrooms every few miles but again - I can manage. You will notice your urine is more clear when drinking plenty of water. When it is darker there is a larger concentration of the acids and toxins that are hard on your kidneys.

Friday, January 21, 2011

The Rich Young Ruler

Remember the rich young ruler from scripture (Luke 18:18-29)? This rich young ruler came to Jesus and asked what he must do to inherit eternal life. Jesus reminded him of the commandments and the rich young ruler told him that he had kept them since he was a boy. Jesus knew the man standing before him, knew his Achilles heel. The man's wealth was more important to him than the peace and joy he sought. Jesus told him he still lacked one thing - sell everything you have and give it to the poor and you will have treasure in heaven. Then, come and follow me. The rich young ruler became very sad because he was a man of great wealth. He was willing to follow Jesus but on his own terms, not Jesus'. He couldn't relinquish all. He could only relinquish most.

How much control can you relinquish? Don't ask God to be your assistant. Don't seek God as an equal partner. Don't buy into the "God is my co-pilot" crowd. Make yourself God's assistant, his employee, his  co-pilot.

If you had a conversation with God and asked Him what you had to do to find the peace of heart that can take the place of comfort food in your life, what answer would you fear most? What word would make you tremble if God suggested it had to go? Your reputation? Your intelligence? Educational status? Financial security? The next binge? Dessert? Second helpings? Laziness? What would you not be willing to give up for dreams come true? Read Ephesians 5:5 again - overeating is greedy; it is idolatry. God have mercy on us.

Adapted from Slender Steps to Sanity.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Instant Gratification

We live in a world where instant gratification is what most of us seek. Most of the struggles that we face are caused by our need to instantly gratify ourselves. Some examples that come to mind are the following. Things like weight-loss, smoking, cheating, drugs, alcohol and even sex. Basically most addictions in general are I believe caused by our need for instant gratification and our loss of control over ourselves. This need to gratify ourselves quickly leads to, in my opinion and experience, the sabotaging of our long-term goals and dreams.

With all of this being said, I strongly believe that the key to conquering these struggles is to train our minds to focus on our long-term goals and dreams. When our minds are focused on the long-term, it will make the short-term pain more bearable. This short-term pain is ultimately the key to our success in conquering and controlling ourselves and making our goals and dreams reality.

Each time that you conquer whatever struggle you are facing, whether it be a big one or a small one, if faced with this attitude you will surely succeed. Each time that you succeed you are becoming more and more empowered and in control of yourself. This is the true meaning of empowerment. Empowerment starts with a love and acceptance of yourself. Trusting in your abilities and trusting your instincts. You are in charge of yourself and therefore create your own path.

All of the above mentioned struggles, can, I believe, be conquered by training your mind to focus on your long-term goals and dreams. Since I am a personal trainer, I am going to use weight-loss and healthy lifestyle as my example. Keep in mind please that this strategy can be used for most things that we struggle with. Each decision we make each day has an effect on our lives and moves us closer to or further away from our goals and dreams.

First of all you must determine what your long-term goals are and make a commitment to stick to them. Let us say that you have committed to losing weight, eating healthy and starting an exercise program. Every decision that you make from that point on is either going to move you closer or further away from your desired goal. If your goal is to lose weight, you must be aware of how much and what kinds of food that you put into your body. Let us say that you were, in the past, a fries and gravy kind of person. I can assure you that eating this type of food will take you further away from your desired goal. Here is a scene to consider. You are out at a restaurant with a group of friends. It is now your turn to place your order. You have a decision to make. Is it going to be the fries and gravy which will take you further away from your goal or will you chose the salad with chicken instead which will move you closer to your desired goal? I understand completely that if you are new to this kind of lifestyle, that this is going to be very difficult for you. I am not at all trying to say that this is easy as 123, however I am saying that with practice it can be done and made a part of your everyday life.

Keeping this in mind, I have a suggestion that I believe will work for you. Let us take the above example and use it again. You have a decision to make. Before making this decision, consciously ask yourself the question, "Is this decision moving me closer or further away from my long-term goals or dreams?". Not ordering the fries and gravy, not having that cigarette, not drinking that next drink, will cause you short-term pain because you did not instantly gratify yourself. However not doing all of these things will also move you closer to your long-term goals and dreams.

If you can train yourself to think this way and to ask yourself the above question each time you are faced with a decision that will affect your desired goal, you are well on your way to empowerment and controlling yourself. In my opinion that is true strength.  -Rhonda McManaman

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Destiny

“Your beliefs become your thoughts. Your thoughts become your words. Your words become your actions. Your actions become your habits. Your habits become your values. Your values become your destiny...

***It's not enough that we do our best; sometimes we have to do what's required. ~~ Sir Winston Churchill

"being empowered" means never playing the victim, because victims are "powerless".

Is it possible to create our own destiny? Answering "Yes" means that there is something deep inside each of us that determines our direction in life. Are we powerless to affect what becomes of us or is there a way to get that golden ring? that pot of gold? Your dreams are what you were meant to be; your life is what you settle for.

It's easy to play the victim because then someone/something outside of us is in control and we are just a puppet with someone/something else pulling the strings. We have a ready-made excuse and we know how to use it well. This would be a good exercise for journaling - what excuses do you use? This along with the forgiveness exercise a couple of posts ago would make a good method of reflecting on and coming to terms with our innermost self.

What destiny are you and I creating for ourselves? I heard it once said that we choose how we are going to die. That's true to a great extent. Based on what we do today will death be delayed or hastened?

http://www.finishstrongmovie.com/?cm_mmc=CheetahMail-_-Cons-_-WelcomeStream-_-FSTRmovie&utm_source=CheetahMail&utm_campaign=FSTRmovieWScons

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Five Ways to Get Started

Eric Westman, MD, who directs the Duke Lifestyle Medicine Clinic in Durham, North Carolina, and who cowrote The New Atkins for a New You, has been studying low-carb diets for 12 years. His five guidelines:

1. DON'T TRY TO LIMIT FAT. "Eating high-fat foods keeps you from feeling deprived." says Dr. Westman. Bacon, cheese, heavy cream, sour cream, cream cheese, mayonnaise, butter, and oil are all healthy parts of a low-carb diet.

2. SAY GOODBYE TO PASTA, BREAD, AND RICE. To lose weight, most people have to stay under 20 grams of  "net" carbs per day (net carbs refers to the number of grams of carbs minus grams of fiber, because fiber doesn't send blood sugar spiking). That rules out bread (two slices contain about 24 grams of  net carbs), rice (over 40 grams in a cup), and pasta (about 40 grams per cup). Once you hit your goal, you can slowly add in more carbs that don't have a big impact on blood sugar.

3. BE PICKY ABOUT VEGETABLES. Starchy (carb-heavy) vegetables--most of the ones that grow underground, as well as corn--are off-limits. But you can have up to four cups daily of leafy greens such as lettuce, spinach, and collard greens. Limit broccoli, cauliflower, green peppers, okra, and Brussels sprouts to two cups per day.

4. SAY NO TO HIDDEN SUGARS. Fruit, that legendarily healthful food, is packed with sugar, aka carbohydrates. So are fruit juices. Other concentrated sources include soda, cakes, and candy. You may be able to keep diet sodas, light beer, dry wine, and sugar-free sweets on the menu and still lose weight.

5. EAT AS MUCH AS YOU WANT. When it comes to protein and fat, "you don't have to use portion control," says Dr. Westman. "Your hunger will go down automatically when you start eating this way--all you have to do is stop eating when you're full."

I would add for those of you who don't buy the book my experience with low-carb eating.

Drinking water is important. This protects your kidneys and helps to flush out toxins and the "ash" left behind when fat is burned. Your body will probably be in ketosis - read up on this. Bad breath from the ketosis. I was tired. Your experience may be different from mine but educate yourself and talk to your doctor if you have any health issues.

I have found a low-glycemic bread. It is called Ezekiel bread. It is in the freezer section. It is a sprouted grains bread with no flour. There are some crackers called Wasa that you might try. Pumpernickel is also a low-glycemic bread.

Since following this diet to the letter makes me so tired, I basically eliminate all the sugar I can from my diet. I really make an effort to limit carbohydrates. Read labels, if it ends in -ose - it's a sugar - dextrose, lactose (dairy products), sucralose, etc. Labels have the carbohydrates listed.

A note about blood sugar - diabetics are often heavy because high blood sugar is the body's signal to store fat. We don't want anything to do with this disease and it is at epidemic proportions. Think of it like this - if you would spill some coke and leave it to dry, that area would be sticky because of the sugar. Blood with too much sugar is sticky - more like sludge - the blood vessels in the eyes are so, so tiny that circulation of thick, sticky blood is difficult. The blood can even have little globs in it. That is also why circulation in the lower extremities is poor - the heart has trouble pumping that back up from so far away in the feet and lower legs.

The "glycemic index" is a measure of how a given food affects blood-glucose levels, with each food being assigned a numbered rating. The lower the rating, the slower the absorption and digestion process, which provides a more gradual, healthier infusion of sugars into the bloodstream. On the other hand, a high rating means that blood-glucose levels are increased quickly, which stimulates the pancreas to secrete insulin to drop blood-sugar levels. These rapid fluctuations of blood-sugar levels are not healthy because of the stress they place on the body.
One of sugar's major drawbacks is that it raises the insulin level, which inhibits the release of growth hormones, which in turn depresses the immune system. This is not something you want to take place if you want to avoid disease.
An influx of sugar into the bloodstream upsets the body's blood-sugar balance, triggering the release of insulin, which the body uses to keep blood-sugar at a constant and safe level. Insulin also promotes the storage of fat, so that when you eat sweets high in sugar, you're making way for rapid weight gain and elevated triglyceride levels, both of which have been linked to cardiovascular disease. Complex carbohydrates tend to be absorbed more slowly, lessening the impact on blood-sugar levels. 

Monday, January 17, 2011

Why Conventional Diets Don't Work

If obesity researchers are so smart, why are we so large? That's the question at the heart of Gary Taubes's new book, Why We Get Fat--and What to Do About It. After all, public health authorities have been hammering home a very simple message for the past 40 years: If you don't want to be fat, cut the fat from your diet. And in those years, obesity rates have gone from 13 percent to 22 percent to, in the last national survey, 33 percent.

Taubes thinks he knows why: Obesity experts have gotten things just about completely backward. If you look carefully at the research, he says, fat isn't the enemy; easily digested carbohydrates are. The very foods that we've been sold as diet staples--fat-free yogurt, plain baked potatoes (hold the butter), and plain pasta (hold the olive oil, sauce, and cheese)--actually reset our physiology to make us pack on the pounds. And the foods that we've been told to shun--steak, burgers, cheese, even the sour cream so carefully scraped from that potato--can help us finally lose the weight and keep our hearts healthy.

As you might imagine, Taubes has stirred controversy with his contentions. (Though he's known as an obsessive reporter and a science nerd ) he studied applied physics at Harvard and aerospace engineering at Stanford and has won numerous science-writing awards), he's been called a dangerous cherry picker of data--someone who searches through decades of studies to weave together the bits he likes. But a series of studies in the past five years has compelled researchers to rethink their long-held prejudices against low-carb diets. These days, scientists like Mitchell Lazar, MD, who directs the diabetes institute at the University of Pennsylvania, and cardiologist Allan Sniderman, MD, at McGill University, take Taubes's argument very seriously.

Here's what he wants you to know:

THE OBESITY EXPERTS ARE WRONG:  "There's this absolutely fundamental idea when it comes to weight and obesity--that the way we get fat is that we take in more calories than we expend. It's the gluttony and sloth hypothesis:  We eat too much and exercise too little. It sounds undeniable, as commonsensical as can be, and it's actually nonsense--it doesn't tell anything meaningful about why we get fat. If I get fatter, it's obvious that I must have overeaten. But if you ask the question, Why did you overeat? Well, that question I can't answer--not with the calories-in/calories-out theory of weight gain.

"People react to this as though I'm questioning the laws of thermodynamics. I'm not questioning them; I'm saying they're not relevant. Yes, if you're getting fatter, you're taking in more calories that you're burning--the question is why. There's a ridiculously simple alternative hypothesis, which is that you don't get fat because you're overeating. You overeat because you've developed a disorder in the way your fat tissue is regulated."

DIETS DON'T WORK

"Over the past 40 years, studies have shown that you can't get clinically significant effect from cutting calories. At the same time that experts are saying that gluttony and sloth are responsible for weight gain, they'll tell you that we know no diet works, and that's why we have to come up with some anti-obesity drug that'll make billions. That's why the medical community considers bariatric surgery--actually altering your digestive system--a reasonable solution."

"It shouldn't be a surprise that diets don't work. Obese people have spent their lives trying to eat less. There are probably a few people who gave up early and said, This is hopeless and I'm going to have a good time. But for the most part, you can define an obese person as someone for whom eating less didn't work. So the simple fact that a doctor tells you to eat less--how much good is that going to do?"

"If you cut calories, you'll be hungry all the time--that's a given. But what also happens is that you adjust your energy expenditure to match your reduced intake. Studies in animals show that if you restrict energy intake, their cells actually burn less energy, which is one reason that obesity researchers, in their honest moments, acknowledge that restricting calories is ineffective."

IT'S IMPOSSIBLE TO COUNT CALORIES

"Public health authorities want us to practice 'energy balance', which is a new way to say that you shouldn't take in more calories than you expend. So what does energy balance entail?"

"If you consume about 2,700 calories a day, which is typical if you average men and women together, that's a million calories a year, or ten million calories in a decade. Over the course of a decade, you're eating roughly ten tens of food. How accurately do you have to match calories-in to calories-out so that you don't gain more than 20 pounds over the course of a decade? Because if you gain 20 pounds every decade, you'll go from being lean in your 20s to obese in your 40s, which many of us do. And the answer is: 20 calories a day and put it into your fat tissue, you will gain 20 pounds every decade."

"The point is, nobody can match calories-in to calories-out with that kind of precision. Twenty calories is like a single bite of a McDonald's hamburger. It's a couple of sips of Coca-Cola or a few bites of an apple. No matter how good you are at counting calories, you can't do it. So if practicing energy balance is really the way to keep from getting fat, the question is, Why aren't we all fat?"

EXERCISING WON'T KEEP YOU THIN

"People in nutrition are so keen on making us lose weight by exercising that they've forgotten the fact that the  more energy you expend, the hungrier you get. Imagine I asked Alice Waters, the great chef from Chez Panisse, to my house to make a 12-course feast, and you're invited. And I've got a pastry chef coming and a gourmet butcher--in Berkeley they have gourmet butchers now. Bring your appetite!!"

"The two things you're likely to do are that you might skip lunch, and you might exercise more. You might even say, Look, Taubes lives three miles from my house--I'm going to walk there, and by the time I get there, I'm going to be hungry. The joke is that the two things we tell people to do in order to lose weight--eat less and exercise more--are the exact two things you would naturally do if you wanted to make yourself hungry."

"When you look at the data from research on obesity and exercise, there's no compelling evidence that exercise has any effect on weight. The American College of Sports Medicine says in its guidelines, which were issued jointly with the American Heart Association, that it's reasonable to assume that if you exercise more, you'll be less likely to gain weight over time. But in those same guidelines, it also says that so far, data to support this hypothesis are not particularly compelling. Which is the kiss of death. It's a 100-year-old hypothesis--if the data aren't compelling by now, you can be pretty confident that the hypothesis is wrong."

BUT THERE IS A WAY TO LOSE WEIGHT

"Our mothers grew up believing refined carbohydrates and starches were fattening--pasta, potatoes, bread, sweets, rice, and corn. And they were right: These foods literally make you fat. Sweets are probably the worst, along with sugar-water combinations, which can be anything from fruit juice to Coca-Cola. The reason is that refined carbohydrates raise your insulin levels. Scientists have known since the early 1960s that insulin is the primary hormone that regulates your fat tissue. This is not controversial--if you go to an endocrinology textbook and look up what makes a fat cell fat, it'll tell you all the ways insulin does it. Then you look up obesity, and it'll say people get fat because they eat too much and exercise too little. There's a complete disconnect between the fundamental science and the cause of human obesity."

"All I'm saying to obesity researchers is, Pay attention to the hormonal and enzymatic regulation of the fat tissue. If you do, you'll get a different answer for what causes obesity and what cures it. Basically, Dr. Atkins got it right with the Atkins diet, although he didn't get all the science right."

YOU NEED TO EAT FOODS THAT KEEP INSULIN LOW

"We tend to think of our fat cells as a long-term bank account, where your body stores excess calories as fatty acids, which you don't use until you're starving. But the reality is that your fat tissue is more like your wallet, and your meals are like going to the ATM. You know how you use the ATM: You put the cash in your wallet and gradually spend it, and when you get too low, you go back to the ATM. But insulin locks the money in your wallet, so you've got to keep going back to the ATM. Your fat cells are getting fatter and fatter, but you can't get at the fatty acids that are stored inside them. So you get hungry and you eat again."

A LOW-CARB DIET IS KEY

"When I was first getting into this subject, I tried the Atkins diet as an experiment. It had never crossed my mind to do that--I associated it with quackery. But now I would go to a restaurant with friends, and they would get skinless chicken breast with green salad, and I would get a pepperoni and melted mozzarella cheese appetizer and a steak. The weight just dropped off. If I walked down the street, it was like you could see the pounds lying behind me on the sidewalk."

"I eat eggs and bacon or sausage for breakfast every day. At lunch, I might have three quarters of a pound of hamburger with cheese, no bun. Dinner is a pound of steak or half a roast chicken or the largest piece of fish  I can buy, and vegetables. You eat what you want until you're satiated--you just don't eat the things that will make you fat."

"You go on this diet and eat breakfast, and suddenly it's two o'clock and you're thinking, Oh, I really should eat lunch. But you're not hungry. I used to eat a very low-fat diet, and I was hungry every two hours or so. And I gained weight every year."

"The biggest study so far on low-carb diets came out last year. It compared a low-fat diet in which you got 1,200 to 1,800 calories per day with a low-carbohydrate diet where you could eat as much as you wanted. The researchers kind of buried this part of it, by the way. They barely touched on the fact that this is a severely calorie-restricted diet compared with an all-you-can-eat diet. But what they found was that the low-carb diet did just as well. To me, this has been the most important observation in the field of obesity research: that you can have an effective diet that doesn't restrict calories. But the establishment has ignored that aspect of it. And in most of the studies that have been done, a low-carb diet actually does better than a low-fat, low-calorie diet."

HIGH FAT IS BETTER FOR YOUR HEART

"The idea that dietary fat causes heart disease is deeply, deeply ingrained. We all know the Atkins diet kills people--that's what we've been told, anyway. When I started eating this way, my wife made me get a life insurance policy. But over the past decade, dozens of studies have finally looked at the Atkins diet, and they show that heart disease risk factors improve more on this kind of low-carb diet than on the low-fat, low-calorie diet that doctors and the American Heart Association want you to eat. Your HDL goes up, which is the most meaningful number in terms of heart health. Small, dense LDL--which is particularly dangerous--becomes large, fluffy LDL. And not only does your cholesterol profile get better, your insulin goes down, and your insulin resistance goes away, and your blood pressure goes down."

"The low-fat diet that people have been eating in hopes of protecting their heart is actually bad for their heart, because it's high in carbohydrates. the public health effort to get everyone to eat that way is one of the fundamental reasons that we now have obesity and diabetes epidemics."

IF YOU HAVE A WEIGHT PROBLEM, IT'S NOT YOUR FAULT

"The past 40 or 50 years, obesity research has basically been an attempt to explain why obese people just don't have the moral rectitude of lean people, without actually saying that. It's terribly damaging. It's inexcusable, but it's still the conventional wisdom. Most doctors don't want to deal with obese patients because they think they're dealing with someone who simply doesn't care enough to do what they do:  Eat in moderation, and exercise."

"I'll walk down the street and see somebody who's obese, and I can't see it as anything but a hormonal disorder. Not everyone gets fat from eating carbohydrates--it has to do with how sensitive your cells are to insulin and specifically how sensitive your fat cells are versus your muscle cells. But some huge percentage of the people who do get fat got that way because of the carbs in their diet. If you've been fat for a long time, getting rid of carbohydrates might not make you lean But the leanest you can be is on the diet with the fewest carbohydrates."

"Are there some cautions: Yes--some people feel low energy while their bodies adjust to this way of eating, though adding a little salt or bouillon to your diet can take care of that. A low-carb diet can reduce your blood pressure, too, so you might have to adjust your medication--if you have a medical condition, you should talk to your doctor first. But basically, I'm just saying, Eat what humans evolved to eat. Highly refined grains and sugars were not part of our diet for 99.999 percent of human history. Back when we were hunter-gatherers, we ate meat as often as we could get it, and when we ate plants, they were much tougher and higher in fiber than they are today--much lower in digestible carbs, in other words. This isn't a diet. The fundamental idea is, Don't eat the foods that make you fat. Beyond that, you can eat as much as you want."

Tomorrow - 5 ways to get started.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Forgiveness

By Troyann

There are many things in life that separate us and make us unique, however, over the years I have seen one consistent common denominator; our need to forgive. Regardless of our upbringing, our cultural similarities or differences, or any other circumstances of our lives, we have each held onto one or more hurt, pain, sadness or injustice.

On a regular basis I work with clients from all over the globe who have used their harbored hurts, pains, sadness, and memories of injustices as a secret hidden weapon for sabotaging their own success, their relationships, or both. These are good people who would not intentionally hurt anyone, but the harbored inner pain has a stronghold on them that they cannot totally control.

A few years ago I coached a woman, Tammy (not her real name), who had a very difficult childhood. Her mother left the family when Tammy was just 13 years old and because Tammy was the oldest female child, her father immediately became dependent upon her to take on all the duties and responsibilities of the absent mother. Tammy was a child so she did not know how, and did not want, to be the adult mother of the family, but she loved her siblings and knew they needed her, so she allowed herself to be pushed into the role of mother of the family.

Tammy's father harbored hurt and resentment toward his wife for leaving the family and for having to work very long hours to bring in enough money to support his family as a single parent. Tammy says that she knew her father loved her and her siblings, but it was very hurtful that he was always so angry and critical of her. He seemed to expect her to already know how to do all the things an adult mother would do such as cooking, cleaning, putting the children to bed, laundry, grocery shopping, etc., along with going to school and keeping her grades up. When she did things that did not meet his level of expectation, he would scold her and accuse her of letting him down.

When Tammy grew up and went out into the adult world she developed challenging problems in her personal and her work relationships so she came to me for help. When Tammy began my SuccessEsteem coaching program she had a menagerie of intertwined ineffective ways for motivating herself that created much more self-sabotage than success.

Through our work together Tammy uncovered three specific problems with her inner self-motivation system.

First, she realized that, even though she was a very nice, very friendly person, she only knew how to be a controlling parent type personality. This personality type was effective when she was actually parenting her younger siblings, however, in the adult world other adults don't want to be controlled, parented and told what to do.

The second problem Tammy uncovered was that she only knew how to be a critical parent to herself. When she made any type of mistake in her adult life she only knew how to inwardly punish, scold and berate herself, and she regularly told herself that she "let people down."

And the third problem Tammy uncovered was that she had a very deep sense of anger and sadness regarding her childhood.

Through the SuccessEsteem coaching program, I worked diligently with Tammy to help her develop a healthier, more effective inner self-motivation system, but the one piece she had to do on her own was the forgiveness work. There were many people to forgive; her mother for leaving, her father for putting her in the parent role and being so critical of her, and herself for not knowing any better than to believe her father's negative and critical words to her.

More recently I coached a client, Jim (not his real name), who had what he describes as a "normal and happy childhood" and yet Jim also had an inner network of ineffective ways for managing himself that constantly left him feeling like a failure.

As Jim and I delved into the SuccessEsteem coaching program we began to uncover the source of his self-sabotage behaviors. Jim was born in the early 1960s and at that time, it was common practice for the mother of the family to be a full time mother and not work outside the home. Also, at that time, it was typical for the father of the family to work for one company for 20 to 30 years and then retire at age 65. And this was exactly the picture of Jim's family. So as Jim moved into his adulthood he fell in love with and married a woman who wanted a family, but also wanted a career outside the home. Jim wasn't equipped to deal with sharing the daily family responsibilities of cooking, cleaning, taking care of the children, etc., and these differences of opinion ultimately caused his marriage to end in divorce.

Jim also shared with me that he did not like his chosen field of accounting and was very unhappy in his job. The thought of working in this job for 20 to 30 years made him feel physically sick, but he believed that it was his obligation to stay with the job and career in which he had already invested so much time and energy.

Jim had based his entire self-motivation system on an out-of-date lifestyle that was unrealistic for the twenty-first century. Jim constantly compared his actual life to the mental image he had of his ideal "1960s" life and always came up short.

I worked with Jim to create a more updated and effective mental image of his ideal life and helped him create new and more effective ways of measuring his success, but there was also forgiveness work to be done.

For Jim, it was all about forgiving himself! He had secretly resented himself for not being able to live up to his previous internal picture of what a marriage and family "should" look like and he berated and scolded himself on a regular basis and saw himself as a failure.

Forgiveness work is recognized worldwide as an amazing healing power!

According to David Barrett et al, editors of the "World Christian Encyclopedia: A comparative survey of churches and religions - AD 30 to 2200," there are 19 major world religions which are subdivided into a total of 270 large religious groups, and many smaller ones. According to this source, over 75 percent of the world's population is a member of the religions of Christianity, Islam or Hinduism, with the remaining population being members of other religions including Judaism and Buddhism.

While I have not read the teachings of all 19 major religions of the world, I am familiar enough with the teachings of the top 5 to know that one thing stands out as a major common denominator; each one teaches about the power of forgiveness!

Many years ago when I first began my own journey of breaking free from self-sabotage behaviors I was open to trying just about anything that might relieve my self-induced inner torture. One evening I was attending a course called Whole Life and the leader of the course said something that reminded me of the teachings of Jesus in the Christian Bible.

Having grown up in a traditional Christian home, I recalled that in the book of Matthew, there is a parable of an unforgiving servant who asked Jesus how many times he should forgive a person for sinning against him. Jesus' response was to tell the servant to forgive seventy times seven. (I am paraphrasing of course.)

Upon recalling this teaching, I thought to myself, "Wow, that's 490 times! I wonder if I can forgive 490 times!" I started by writing a list of everything I could think of that I felt angry or hurt about and every person I felt angry or resentment toward. (I was startled at how long the list was.) Then I created a forgiveness journal and I began my journey of writing "I forgive ___ for ____" for everything and everyone on the list.

The forgiveness journey turned out to be one of the single most significantly healing things I have ever done in my life!

Over the years I have shared the awesome power of forgiveness with many people and I have learned several important factors regarding the forgiveness process that I would like to share with you.

First, no one can tell you HOW to forgive. If you need to cry at the sadness of the death of a loved one or the pain of a brutal injustice, let the tears flow. If you need to curse and swear as you forgive the a**hole who wrecked your car or the Son-of-a-*itch who broke your heart and then do it that way. Just do it YOUR way!

Second, if you are doing forgiveness work related to something that feels like an "unforgivable" crime or action someone forced on you, please KNOW that forgiveness is NOT about condoning someone else's bad behaviors. I once coached a woman who was sexually abused by her father when she was a child. She struggled with the idea of forgiving him because she didn't want it to mean that it was OK that he did that to her. Forgiveness work is for YOU -- not THEM. Forgiveness is about clearing out the negative crap, goop and garbage the offender left behind when they contaminated your space. For her, swearing and yelling in her forgiveness journal was extremely cathartic and effective. She let it ALL OUT, but always starting with "I forgive you for..."

And lastly, but perhaps most important, please, please, please remember that YOU are the KEY character in your journey of forgiveness. Some of the most powerful forgiveness work you will do will be about forgiving yourself! Regardless of the event, most of us blame ourselves in some way for the bad things that happen to us or the bad things others do to us and even when it truly was not within our control and was not our fault.

Tammy focused on forgiving the people and circumstances of her childhood. As she let go of her pent-up hurt and anger, she became more and more comfortable letting other people take control of their own work and she began to let go of her need to control her friends and family. As a result, her coworkers, friends and family enjoy being around her and she is much more relaxed and happier!

Jim focused his forgiveness work on himself. He spent hours forgiving himself for all the things he felt he had done to mess up his life and the lives of those around him. As he let go of his pent up hurt and anger, he became more and more relaxed and comfortable just being himself. He let go of his harsh judgment of himself and developed a more supportive and motivating way to move forward when things don't work out as he planned. Jim also took the leap of faith and left his accounting job to work in the manufacturing industry which, for him, is much more interesting and stimulating.

In case you are wondering, I never got to 490. I was about halfway there when all my inner anger, resentment and sadness just lifted away! I still use my Forgiveness Journal for "spot cleaning," so I keep it in a safe place so I'll know where it is when I need it.

No matter what brought you to your own journey of forgiveness, one thing I can promise you is this; doing the forgiveness work will improve your life in unbelievable and wonderful ways!

Are you ready to forgive 490 times? 

About the Author:

Troyann Williams is a highly renowned SuccessEsteem Coach. For a FREE GUIDE: Recognizing the 5 Most Significant Ways You May Be Sabotaging Your Own Efforts to Be Successful, go to http://www.selfsabotagebehavior.com. Troyann is a "been-there, done-that, knows what she's talking about" coach! You can learn more about the SuccessEsteem coaching program at http://www.selfsabotagebehavior.com.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Five Types of Problem Eating

With the New Year upon us -- and the weight-loss resolutions that typically follow -- it's time to take a closer look at the most common root cause of obesity: problem eating. It is often said that the first step to recovery is admitting you have a problem. Nowhere is this more true than eating.
To state the obvious, not all eating problems are the same. Accordingly, there needs to be a bit more specificity about the different categories of eating problems to help individuals build a more useful map. My aim is to provide a point of view that may allow you to view your experience through a different lens, and in doing so, allow for a new pattern to emerge. Having spent over 30 years in private practice as a clinical psychologist, I've learned a lot about how individuals relate to food. Below is a summary of my learning that will hopefully provide some bits of wisdom.
The following are the problem eating categories:
Clueless Eating
This refers to the behavior of people who know nothing about nutrition. I know it's hard to believe given the amount of available information -- books, magazines, TV, Internet -- but many still have very little nutritional literacy. If you fall into this category you may be significantly overweight and on your way to a variety of degenerative diseases. A subset of clueless eating is alcohol consumption. There are far more calories consumed while drinking than most people realize and, for many, it constitutes a significant amount of excess weight.

Trance Eating
Trance eating refers to a form of negative multitasking. While doing something else -- reading, watching TV, emailing, etc. -- you're eating, completely oblivious to what you're doing. Eating in a movie theater is trance eating at its most obvious. It's remarkable how someone can walk into a theater with a container of popcorn the size of a Volkswagen, sit down, put the container in their lap and eat every last kernel without any consciousness. Research suggests that, not only do people not remember how much they ate, they also do not have the sensations of fullness that should accompany eating.
One other note about trance eating: If you're compelled to finish everything on your plate, it's probably the consequences of your mom telling you when you were a child a variation on the theme "there are children starving in Uganda." Over time this maternal command functions as an unconscious hypnotic suggestion, and you follow it regardless of the fact that you have already had enough to eat.
Medication Eating
Of all the substances that we ingest to make ourselves feel better, food is most often the drug of choice. We eat when we're anxious, sad, depressed, angry, worried, annoyed, ashamed or guilty. Coping with difficult emotional states is no easy task, but that's no excuse for constant abuse of food.
Ironically, psychological research suggests that individuals who score higher on the neuroticism component of personality tests tend to be more successful at losing weight than people who score in the normal range. What this means is that a certain amount of anxiety and OCD (obsessive compulsiveness) is a good thing when applied to positive lifestyle management skills. It keeps you worried and focused at just the right levels to take good care of yourself. Think of it as a little nuttiness being a good thing.
Sleep-Deprived Eating
One of the lesser-known facts about sleep deprivation is its effect on appetite. For reasons not fully understood, lack of sleep wreaks havoc on the hormones connected to appetite. In short, you eat more and gain weight. You need 7 1/2 hours of sleep on average. I know you enjoy watching "Leno," "Letterman" and "Conan," but your health is more important than their ratings.
Diet Eating
This is the "well intentioned" form of problem eating, but equally useless. Diets fall into a category of experience that is doomed to failure. The moment you choose to engage in a weight-loss strategy that has an expiration date, you can't possibly succeed. The only difference between this kind of eating and the others is the belief that something good will come of it. It won't. Stop doing diets now unless you've chosen one that you intend to be a permanent lifestyle change.
In reality, most people's eating problems are a combination of several of the above. Consequently there are a lot of patterns that need to be changed, but the first and most important step towards change is identification of the problem and awareness.
Changing your eating habits is tantamount to changing your religion. There is not a single stitch in the fabric of your life that will not be affected by the process of losing a significant amount of weight. The way you see, think and feel about yourself, the way others respond to you and the day to day patterns that structure your life will be entirely different. There are also a lot more choices available as you become, in a literal sense, a different person.
This is especially true for people who have always been heavy, since being at a healthy weight is like being in a country where you're just learning the language. Developing the skills to cope with all of this is no easy matter. And it takes an enormous degree of courage to succeed.
As everyone already knows, beginnings tend to go well. There's excitement, energy, commitment and all the other good things that go along with "newness." But as we all know, "newness" has the shelf life of a shooting star. It's bright, fun, fast and over. Hence, most New Years resolutions falter by the end of January.
This is where we get down to the single most important concept in life: maintenance. Simply put, maintenance is the following statement: "I am going to continue doing what I am already doing." It sounds so simple yet it's difficult to master. And weight management is the poster child for maintenance failure.
Here's why:
The mind is wired for journeys. Our life is structured as a narrative that involves getting from one place to another. And successful stories, variations on the Myth of the Hero theme made famous by Joseph Campbell where difficult obstacles are overcome, are the most compelling. So losing weight is a journey that we follow by the numbers, literally. Once achieved, once we get to that magic number of pounds that reflects success, we're there. We've achieved our goal and the journey is over.
But the moment you get complacent about having achieved your goal weight, you're doomed to failure and gaining everything back. This is where healthy anxiety and useful OCD need to kick in to insure you will never get completely comfortable. In and of itself, successful weight loss is dangerous, since it gives you the illusion you've achieved your goal. You haven't. You've just started. Weight-loss maintenance involves creating a totally different lifestyle algorithm, the step-by-step changes that must last a lifetime.
 
With the New Year upon us -- and the weight-loss resolutions that typically follow -- it's time to take a closer look at the most common root cause of obesity: problem eating. It is often said that t...
With the New Year upon us -- and the weight-loss resolutions that typically follow -- it's time to take a closer look at the most common root cause of obesity: problem eating. It is often said that t...

Friday, January 14, 2011

Exercise

Why is Exercise Important?

Have you ever heard the expression "use it or lose it"? It's true! If you don't use your body, you will surely lose it. Your muscles will become flabby and weak. Your heart and lungs won't function efficiently. And your joints will be stiff and easily injured. Inactivity is as much of a health risk as smoking!
Helps Prevent Diseases
Our bodies were meant to move -- they actually crave exercise. Regular exercise is necessary for physical fitness and good health. It reduces the risk of heart disease, cancer, high blood pressure, diabetes and other diseases. It can improve your appearance and delay the aging process.

Improves Stamina
When you exercise, your body uses energy to keep going. Aerobic exercise involves continuous and rhythmic physical motion, such as walking and bicycling. It improves your stamina by training your body to become more efficient and use less energy for the same amount of work. As your conditioning level improves, your heart rate and breathing rate return to resting levels much sooner from strenuous activity.

Strengthens and Tones
Exercising with weights and other forms of resistance training develops your muscles, bones and ligaments for increased strength and endurance. Your posture can be improved, and your muscles become more firm and toned. You not only feel better, but you look better, too!

Enhances Flexibility
Stretching exercises are also important for good posture. They keep your body limber so that you can bend, reach and twist. Improving your flexibility through exercise reduces the chance of injury and improves balance and coordination. If you have stiff, tense areas, such as the upper back or neck, performing specific stretches can help "loosen" those muscles, helping you feel more relaxed.

Controls Weight
Exercise is also a key to weight control because it burns calories. If you burn off more calories than you take in, you lose weight. It's as simple as that.

Improves Quality of Life
Once you begin to exercise regularly, you will discover many more reasons why exercise is so important to improving the quality of your life. Exercise reduces stress, lifts moods, and helps you sleep better. It can keep you looking and feeling younger throughout your entire life.

How Often Should I Exercise?

The benefits of any exercise program will diminish if it's disrupted too frequently. A "stop-start" routine is not only ineffective, but can cause injuries. Being consistent with exercise, therefore, is probably the most important factor in achieving desired results.
People often assume that more is better. Wrong! Doing too much too soon or performing intense exercises on a daily basis will have deleterious effects, such as muscle/tendon strains, loss of lean tissue, and fitness-level plateaus.
If you are a beginner, start off slower than you think you should. Three days per week is realistic, safe and effective. If you are experienced, do cardiovascular (aerobic) exercises such as walking, jogging and bicycling for no more than 200 minutes per week with no more than 60 minutes per session.
Weight training should be done no more than three times per week targeting the same muscle groups. Exercise the same muscle groups on non-consecutive days because muscles need adequate time to recover and cannot be effectively trained if they are tired or sore.
Many people forget to stretch or make the excuse that they don't have the time. Flexibility is important, so make the time! Stretching can be done every day, but stick to a minimum of three times per week in order to reap the benefits. When the body is warmed up, such as after a workout session, perform five to 10 stretches that target the major muscle groups. Hold each stretch for 10-30 seconds.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Walking Schedule

I found two online sites for exercising at home:   pilatesanytime.com and exercisetv.com   I can watch on my laptop and exercise in the living room. I just need to get at it. 

Get walking with this 12-week walking schedule

By Mayo Clinic staff Are you looking to ease into getting in shape? This 12-week walking schedule from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute can start you on the path to better fitness and health. Before starting this walking plan, talk with your doctor if you've been sedentary for a long time or you have serious health issues.
Try to walk at least five times each week. Always start with a five-minute, slower paced walk to warm up, and end with a five-minute, slower paced walk to cool down.
As you become more fit, you'll want to add strength training exercises, such as push-ups and lunges, to your routine to meet the physical activity level recommended for healthy adults:
  • At least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity — or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity — a week
  • Strength training exercises at least twice a week
WeekWarm-upBrisk walkingCool-down
1 5 minutes 5 minutes 5 minutes
2 5 minutes 7 minutes 5 minutes
3 5 minutes 9 minutes 5 minutes
4 5 minutes 11 minutes 5 minutes
5 5 minutes 13 minutes 5 minutes
6 5 minutes 15 minutes 5 minutes
7 5 minutes 18 minutes 5 minutes
8 5 minutes 20 minutes 5 minutes
9 5 minutes 23 minutes 5 minutes
10 5 minutes 26 minutes 5 minutes
11 5 minutes 28 minutes 5 minutes
12 5 minutes 30 minutes 5 minutes

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Keep On Keepin' On

219.5 yesterday - this is where whining happens. Poor me. I've been so good, how can this happen? Well - I know it isn't from overeating. I do know I haven't been drinking as much water as I should. I'll be weighing again on Sunday so we'll see.

In today's fast-paced, overtaxed and sometimes uncaring society, it can be challenging to find anything to lift your spirits when you get down in the dumps. In spite of how dismal things may appear, there are some things you can do to get happy and enjoy your day. Here are 10 great ways to lift your spirits. 1. Get yourself an attitude of gratitude.
For centuries, religious groups the world over have recognized how powerful gratitude is when it comes to lifting one's spirits. Frequently we are so caught up in what we lack that we fail to recognize all that we possess. Often, we are only reminded of the blessings present in our world when we encounter someone worse off than we are or when those blessings are no longer a reality. Be thankful for what you have. Keep a list of things for which you are grateful  in case you need to jog your memory.
2. Brighten someone's day.
It may be you who is feeling the blues, but when you brighten some else's day, yours automatically becomes brighter. Call it the ripple effect. Smiles are contagious. Do what you can to start an epidemic of happy faces.
3. Get organized.
Many experts agree that when you organize things in your life, it makes you feel better about yourself and your circumstances. Clear the clutter lying around your house or yard. Detail your car. Organizing closets, garages and other areas that have become detritus dumping grounds are great places to start.
4. Get some fresh air.
Fresh air revitalizes the senses and makes you more apt to get up and do something rather than sit there in a sullen mood. Go for a walk with a friend. Take a bike ride. Even just puttering in your flower or vegetable garden will do the trick.
5. Pamper yourself.Get a facial or a manicure. Rent a movie and order takeout. Buy yourself a bouquet of your favorite flowers. Take an aromatherapy bath complete with candles and soft music. Oak-moss, lavender and geranium are great mood lifters.
6. Tap into your creative side.
Whether it's cooking, writing, painting, crafting, sewing or another talent you possess, being creative will give you a sense of direction and accomplishment.
7. Turn on the music. Upbeat music will stimulate your mind and distract you from whatever's bringing you down. Sing along with your favorite songs and feel your spirits rise.
8. Treat yourself to a flavored cup of java.
Don't have any at home? Not to worry. Add some cinnamon, nutmeg or vanilla to your regular coffee.
9. Get some exercise.
Because the heart rate and breathing rate increase during exercise a greater amount of oxygen is delivered to the body tissue. In addition to relieving stress, heightened physical activity will decrease the level of the stress hormone, cortisol. This promotes the release of endorphins, the body's natural form of pain relief. As such, your mood can quickly shift from a state of stress to one of joyfulness.
10. Make someone laugh.
It's speculated that laughing helps to kick in your endorphins, giving you a natural high. The jury may still out on whether laughter is actually beneficial to your physical health, but there's no jury needed to conclude that laughter lifts spirits.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Don't Waste Your Growl

I couldn't edit yesterday's post and add this link. Links evidently can only be added in the original and not on the edit.

I have found now that I am waiting on the growl that I don't want to waste it by just grabbing something mindlessly. I want it to be something really good and that I really like. I know if I waste my growl it will be a while before I growl again and I will be disappointed by not taking time to eat something wonderful.

Hunger and appetite are controlled by a complex system of hormone-like substances primarily made by your digestive system. When you haven't eaten for a while, these substances are released and cause a part of your brain called the hypothalamus to "switch on" your desire to eat. A message is then sent to your stomach and intestines. This triggers muscle contractions and the release of acids and other digestive fluids — which causes the rumbling, grumbling sounds you hear — as your body prepares for you to eat.

Waiting for the growl can be difficult. When I start getting that empty, hollow, tight feeling and begin to feel anxious; I ask myself "What am I afraid of?" It seems silly to be upset and panic over this but I do. I calm myself down by having a self-talk. Prayer helps as well.

What you are asking is that He take away your craving--whether it's an obsessive craving or a less obvious, more gentle yet ever-present sense of "gotta have it"--so that the monkey you carry around on your back will get off and stay off forever. Whatever you eat during the day, exercise the power of the prayer mentioned a couple of days ago by saying inwardly to yourself, Dear God, please feed my hunger and restore my right mind. Whether you are eating celery or you are eating cookies, just say the prayer. Whether you think this is powerful or you think it's hogwash, just say the prayer. Whether you have been doing this with every bite all day or have only now remembered to do it, just say the prayer.

Overeating is a battle you wage against yourself; Spirit is the power that saves you from yourself. Don't call on God only in the hour of your need, but rather call on God as a way to cultivate and maintain serenity. Spiritually, you want to lose weight not just to become less flesh, but to become more spirit. Every moment when you eat inappropriately is simply a moment when you are starving for God's love, can't find it where it actually exists, and therefore struggle to find it elsewhere.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Brick Walls

"The brick walls are not there to keep us out; the brick walls are there to give us a chance to show how badly we want something."
~Randy Pausch



Randy Pausch was 47 years old when he died from pancreatic cancer. He was, as the Independent of London put it, "the dying man who taught America how to live". His book, The Last Lecture, is an international best-seller and it offers many wonderful lessons about life.
Randy Pausch's "last lecture" was delivered in September 2007, at Carnegie Mellon University, where he taught computer science. The lecture began with him standing before a screen beaming down chilling CT images of tumors in his liver, under the title...The Elephant in the Room. He then said to a stunned audience, "I have about 6 months to live." He said, "I'm really in good shape, probably better shape than most of you," ... dropping to the floor to do push-ups.
He went on to say, "I'm dying and I'm having fun, and I'm going to keep having fun every day I have left." He talked about his childhood dreams and what they had taught him about life. He said, "If you live your life the right way, the karma will take care of itself...your dreams will come to you."
Randy Pausch really was a dying man who has taught America how to live.
He died on July 25, 2008, but his wisdom, his passion, and his attitude are lasting sources of inspiration for all of us.
What is our brick wall? That thing that keeps us from breaking through to the life we want. Is it that we don't want to give up our love affair with food? with laziness? with disobedience? How much older are we going to get before we do what we have to do. Life is slipping away and the older we get the more we will regret the years we could have been happier and healthier had we not chosen to be irresponsible. Does it make us mad that we are insane as Albert Einstein said - "Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results". Diets don't work. Excuses don't help. We did it to ourselves and we are the only ones (with God's help) who can make it right. In case I haven't mentioned this before - wait for the growl, eat what you want, stop when pleasantly full, and don't eat again until there is a growl.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

The "F" Word

218 yesterday morning - 4 lb. this week. Now we get down into the real fat.

I use the word "fat."  I use that word because that's what people are: they're fat.  They're not bulky; they're not large, chunky, hefty or plump.  And they're not big-boned.  Dinosaurs were big-boned.  These people are not overweight: this term somehow implies there is some correct weight.  There is no correct weight.  Heavy is also a misleading term.  An aircraft carrier is heavy; it's not fat.  Only people are fat, and that's what fat people are!  They're fat!  ~George Carlin

Waiting for the growl and then eating what I want works so well. The growl is not subjective, not open to interpretation. My stomach has either growled or it hasn't. It is also easier to stop eating because if I'm growling when I begin it's easier to sense when that gnawing has stopped. If we aren't hungry when we begin then where is full? It's the recreational eating that we miss. It can be a sporting event.


Unknown Author
You don't drown by falling in the water. You drown by staying there.
 

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Responsibility

http://www.theblaze.com/stories/its-the-govts-fault-fmr-worlds-fattest-man-sues-british-national-hc-for-weight/

This guy is suing the British government for his weight. Getting political again - when the government does for people what they should do for themselves they become dependent. Black people vote Democratic in general and it is the social programs that have ruined their families and financial possibilities with handouts. They have got to become independent (as well as others on welfare) and take charge of their youth to turn this around. I think I heard on the radio that 60% of black babies are born to unwed mothers which means less likelihood of graduation from high school and more of a chance of serving time in prison. We can thank single mothers (black or white) for much of the ills of society. And then we can thank those who enable them. I don't even know if we can turn it around at this point. Unemployment is headed toward entitlement status. It will be permanent and another nail in the coffin for America. Soon there will be more people not working than there are people with jobs to pay the taxes for their support. I think it's around 47% of Americans who do not work and pay taxes. I saw a bumper sticker once that said "Work harder, millions on welfare are depending on you." There are people who need help and I don't begrudge them a penny. We have a friend on full disability because of his injuries in Viet Nam. There are people with handicaps and physical problems who need our help. There are also many able bodied people who could earn their welfare check. After so many unemployment checks could it be considered a loan to be repaid? Could people work for their welfare check? Could we require drug tests for those on public assistance?

Station break.

An Excerpt from
The Strangest Secret
by Earl Nightingale

George Bernard Shaw said, "People are always blaming their circumstances for what they are. I don't believe in circumstances. The people who get on in this world are the people who get up and look for the circumstances they want, and if they can't find them, they make them."
Well, it's pretty apparent, isn't it? And every person who discovered this believed (for a while) that he was the first one to work it out. We become what we think about.
Conversely, the person who has no goal, who doesn't know where he's going, and whose thoughts must therefore be thoughts of confusion, anxiety and worry - his life becomes one of frustration, fear, anxiety and worry. And if he thinks about nothing... he becomes nothing.
How does it work? Why do we become what we think about? Well, I'll tell you how it works, as far as we know. To do this, I want to tell you about a situation that parallels the human mind.
Suppose a farmer has some land, and it's good, fertile land. The land gives the farmer a choice; he may plant in that land whatever he chooses. The land doesn't care. It's up to the farmer to make the decision.
We're comparing the human mind with the land because the mind, like the land, doesn't care what you plant in it. It will return what you plant, but it doesn't care what you plant.
Now, let's say that the farmer has two seeds in his hand- one is a seed of corn, the other is nightshade, a deadly poison. He digs two little holes in the earth and he plants both seeds-one corn, the other nightshade. He covers up the holes, waters and takes care of the land...and what will happen? Invariably, the land will return what was planted.
As it's written in the Bible, "As ye sow, so shall ye reap."
Remember the land doesn't care. It will return poison in just as wonderful abundance as it will corn. So up come the two plants - one corn, one poison.
The human mind is far more fertile, far more incredible and mysterious than the land, but it works the same way. It doesn't care what we plant...success...or failure. A concrete, worthwhile goal...or confusion, misunderstanding, fear, anxiety and so on. But what we plant must return to us.
You see, the human mind is the last great unexplored continent on earth. It contains riches beyond our wildest dreams. It will return anything we want to plant.