Thursday, March 12, 2009

New article to share with you.

I read this this morning and my DD and I had just been talking about this very thing. I had a slight gain at weigh in this week and rather than be discouraged I thought of all the things I have accomplihed since embarking on this weight loss journey.

Poll: How Soon Do You Expect to See a Change?
By: Nancy Howard : 3/11/2009 2:28:12 PM : 88 comments

I am a fitness magazine fanatic. Just ask my postal carrier. Each week I receive at least two publications which are reviewed and studied cover to cover before the end of the day. I love reading everything I can get my hands on from Shape, to Oxygen, to Women’s Running, to Runner’s World, and my all-time fav, On Fitness, a magazine geared to personal trainers.

But one thing that drives me crazy is the number of ads in many of these publications featuring models who claim to drop a size or more within a very short period of time by just taking—you fill in the blank. And let’s not talk about the by-lines on the covers claiming total body transformations in just 4 weeks time. Having been on this journey as long as I have, I know it takes much longer then that.

But why is it the minute we do not see a drop on the scale we look at our actions as a failure? Trust me this is far from the reality. The change our bodies must undergo will take time and if we have the patience and fortitude to not allow the scale to determine our success or failure then we all will succeed.

We all must be aware of that every change within the body must begin within the cells themselves. While we never ‘lose’ fat cells when we lose weight, we do lose free fatty acids within the fat cell. In other words, we cannot change the number of fat cells when we lose weight; we just shrink them by the release of free fatty acid to give us fuel, which eventually makes the cells smaller. I like to equate this like a a water-filled balloon losing water slowly out a pin point hole. The balloon is shrinking, just like our fat cells, but it is going to take time for the water to be drip out of the hole.

On the other hand the mitochondria, the tiny organelles within the cell which turn our food and oxygen into energy are getting larger in size and more numerous in number. The mitochondria are what drive our metabolism and give us the energy to get through a workout. Therefore, as we develop better cardio-respiratory endurance and do some sound resistance training, the cells are forced to make these powerhouse mitochondria bigger and greater in number to fuel the new activity. Once again, this takes time for the changes to occur.

This is why when you look at losing weight you need to view this as a lifelong endeavor and not just a quick means to reach your goal weight only to go back to the way your life used to be. It takes time and patience to get results. I like to say that it takes faith and courage to start this journey and patience and determination to stay on the path.

Do you believe the ads or programs that promise results in 6, 9, or 12 weeks? Do you become frustrated if you aren’t getting results as quickly as you expected? Does it help to know that the changes must begin at the cellular level before we can see them in the mirror?

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Can you see results in 6 weeks?

I found this article on Sparkpeople, today and I just had to share. We are always looking for that quick result, but it takes time to get the results you are looking for. I am in this for the long haul and if you have stuck with me from the beginning, you know this is a long and winding road to better health, but i am still traveling it, I hope you are too.

"This is the time of year when well-intentioned New Year's resolutions start to get tough, and many of us begin falling back into old habits. One reason for this could be unrealistic expectations. You've been working out and eating right for over a month now, and so far you have only seen a small change on the scale. No sign of the 6-pack abs you're working toward, and you're not getting the compliments from family and friends you would have expected by now. But is a month really enough time to start seeing results? How long and how much effort does it take to start seeing real changes in your body?

A new study from the University of Wisconsin recruited sedentary people for a six-week exercise program to see if others would notice any change in their bodies after the six weeks was over. Volunteers were photographed wearing bathing suits and then were randomly assigned to one of three groups: cardiovascular exercise, strength training or no physical activity at all. Six weeks later, they were photographed again.

The volunteers were men ages 18-40. Their heads were blocked out of the photos, and the volunteers and judges rated each person's body on a scale of 1 to 10. Overall, their ratings barely changed after the 6-week period. Not surprisingly, there was also little change in body fat and measurements over this time.

Six weeks probably isn't enough time to see dramatic physical results when it comes to a diet and exercise program. Although it could take six months or more to see the kind of before and after pictures you're hoping for, the good thing is that there are benefits you should start seeing within the first few weeks of changing your lifestyle. For example, better sleep, less stress and more energy are immediate benefits of regular physical activity and a healthy diet. Keep in mind that you didn't gain the weight overnight, and slow changes aren't necessarily a bad thing. Losing weight slowly ensures that a higher percentage of the loss is coming from fat instead of muscle, and also makes it much more likely that you'll keep the weight off for good.

Do you struggle to stay motivated when you don't see immediate results? How do you stay focused and on track toward your goals when this happens? "

Monday, January 19, 2009

You Can Eat Fast Food!

Found this article this morning and wanted to share it with you. Hope you can use the info I am sharing here. Good luck with all your exercising and dieting this week. I think I am back on track this week after a week of illness. The medication has made me gain weight, so i am going to have to really work hard this week. weigh in is Wed, so we will see how I do.

You Can Eat Fast Food!
By: Tanya Jolliffe : 1/19/2009 5:45:13 AM : 37 comments

Sometimes you have to eat on the run.
Sometimes you just want to eat away from home.
What can you eat while maintaining a healthy diet?

Here are two of the most famous fast food restaurant chains and the healthy options you can find when you have to eat away from home.

Most of these options are below 250 calories and 10 grams of fat and can be included in a health diet once in a while.


Jr. Hamburger
Calories - 220
Fat- 8 grams
Protein - 13 grams

Mandarin Chicken Salad (skip the almond, noodles and substitute the dressing)
Calories - 180
Fat - 2 grams
Protein - 24 grams

Chicken Caesar Salad (skip the croutons and substitute the dressing)
Calories - 180
Fat - 4 grams
Protein - 28 grams

Side Salad
Calories - 35
Fat - 0 grams
Protein - 1 gram

Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing
Calories - 90
Fat- 6 grams
Protein - 0 grams

Fat Free French Dressing
Calories - 70
Fat - 0 grams
Protein - 0 grams

Small Chili
Calories - 190
Fat - 6 grams
Protein - 14 grams

Strawberry Yogurt Squeezerz
Calories - 70
Fat - .5 grams
Protein - 2 grams

Mandarin Orange Cup
Calories - 80
Fat - 0 grams
Protein - 1 gram

Low Fat Milk
Calories - 100 (white) 170 (chocolate)
Fat - 2.5 grams
Protein - 8 grams


Calories - 250
Fat - 9 grams
Protein - 12 grams

Grilled Snack Wraps
Calories - 260 (Chipotle BBQ or Honey Mustard) or 270 (Ranch)
Fat - 9 grams
Protein - 18 grams

Premium Caesar Salad with Grilled Chicken
Calories - 220
Fat - 6 grams
Protein - 30 grams

Side Salad
Calories - 20
Fat - 0 grams
Protein - 1 gram

Snack Size Fruit & Walnut Salad
Calories - 210
Fat - 8 grams
Protein - 4 grams

Newman's Own Low Fat Balsamic Vinaigrette
Calories - 40
Fat - 3 grams
Protein - 0 grams

Newman's Own Low Fat Family Recipe Italian Dressing
Calories - 60
Fat - 2.5
Protein - 1 gram

Newman's Own Low Fat Sesame Ginger Dressing
Calories - 90
Fat - 2.5 grams
Protein - 1 gram

Fruit 'n Yogurt Parfait
Calories - 160 (130 without granola)
Fat - 2 grams
Protein - 4 grams

Apple Dippers
Calories - 35 (additional 70 with caramel dip)
Fat - 0 grams (.5 with caramel dip)
Protein - 0 grams

Low Fat Milk
Calories - 100 (white) / 170 (chocolate)
Fat - 2.5 grams (white) / 3 (chocolate)
Protein - 8 grams

Now that you have all these options, the fun is putting together a meal that best meets your nutrient needs. Here are two meals that I would put together.

Wendy's Jr. Hamburger
Side Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing
Mandarin Oranges
Total = 445 calories; 14 grams fat; 15 grams protein

McDonald's Snack Size Fruit & Walnut Salad
Side Salad with Newman's Own Low Fat Balsamic Vinaigrette
White Milk
Total = 370 calories; 13.5 grams fat; 13 grams protein

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Having trouble getting more active?

As many of you know I wear a pedometer all the time. It has really helped me to keep adding the steps. On a day that I think I have been pretty "busy" I often find out busy does not always translate to active. So put on your pedometer and see how active you really are!

Add Steps to Subtract Pounds

Researchers from the University of Tennessee asked overweight women to clip on pedometers to track their steps. They divided these women into two groups. One group was told to aim for 10,000 steps a day (the common recommendation considered to be "active"), while the second group was told simply to walk briskly for 30 minutes, most days of the week (a common--but minimum--fitness recommendation). The study found that the step counters averaged over 10,000 steps daily, while the minute counters averaged between 8,270 to 9,505 steps on the days the DID meet their 30-minute goals, and merely 5,597 steps on the days they didn't exercise for 30 minutes. The researchers conclude that setting your goals in steps (rather than minutes) may be the best way to increase your overall activity.

Action Sparked: If you're having a hard time getting into a regular fitness routine, using a pedometer may help motivate you. It's a simple way to track your progress, and you can easily continue to beat your past records (even if only by 5, 10, or 100 steps). Tracking your steps is another way to gauge your activity level--especially for the average deskbound worker. (People with active jobs, such as servers, may exceed 10,000 steps at work alone, but should still plan structured fitness activities.)

Exercise Extra: Walking less than 5,000 steps daily is considered sedentary, 5,000 to 9,999 is considered low to somewhat active, and 10,000 steps or more is active.

Monday, December 29, 2008

My 2009 Resolutions

Goal #1 Get Fit
I have found that I really enjoy going to the gym. I will be adding more fitness time to my week. My goal is to get 30 - 45 minutes of cardio 5 days a week, and to add 45 minutes of strength training at least 3 times a week. I have some equipment here at home as well as the gym that is close by, so that is a very attainable goal.

Goal #2 to lose 10% of my current weight.
I will be challenging my TOPS group to join me in this challenge. 10% will be something different to each person depending on where they start. I think it is a good starting point for the beginning of the year. Maybe we will all get a shirt that says we have joined an exclusive club of Loser. I will have to be thinking about that. I love visual rewards for hard work. I will be talking to my TOPS group about that.

Goal #3 Completing the Beck Diet Solution Weight Loss Workbook
I will be journaling about that journey on this blogsite in January. If you have not read the book, by Judith Beck I highly recommend it. It is about training your brain to think like a thin person. I hope that some of you will join me on that journey.

I will be leaving for Florida next week. I hope that will be the last trip for awhile. It seems like we have been living out of a suitcase for three months now. I am looking forward to spending some time at home.

Please let me know if you find the information here helpful.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Try this at home

Improve Your Mood with This 2-Minute Exercise
By: Dean Anderson : 12/16/2008 12:09:25 PM : 206 comments

Would you be willing to spend two minutes doing a special exercise that could improve your mood and make your life a little (or a lot) easier?

No, this isn’t a gimmick that will get you off the hook for the kind of exercise that makes you breathe hard and sweat a lot. You’ll still have to do that. And it’s not going to make it a breeze to pass up temptations and stick to your food plan.

But this exercise might help you appreciate and enjoy these things–and the rest of your daily duties--a lot more, and avoid feeling sorry for yourself.

You don’t need an expert to tell you that a good mood is like money in the bank. It helps you let the many minor irritations and problems of your daily life roll off your back like water, and gives you the optimism, creativity, and stamina you need to handle whatever life throws at you.

But how do you get yourself into a good mood when you wake up on the wrong side of the bed, or so many little things are going wrong that you’d have to be unconscious or really snockered not to feel pretty anxious and upset?

The answer is simple: practice gratitude.

The shortest distance between two points is a straight line. And if you’re trying to go from feeling down about your situation to feeling good about it, the shortest path is to be grateful for what you’ve got.

I have to admit that, for many years, this kind of claim drove me crazy. I was stuck in a very long, deep, and unpleasant struggle with major depression and PTSD that had already wrecked my marriage, my business, and left me living on disability benefits with 3 kids to support. To have someone tell me that I should find something to be grateful for struck me as either ignorant or cruel.

Then one day I was sitting in the lobby at my therapist’s office, running through all the problems I wanted to talk with her about that session, when a another client came in. She was carrying a baby, had a toddler in hand, and asked me if I could watch them for a second while she got the other kids out of the car. She came back in with two more young kids, sat down and started crying a little bit while trying to get the kids interested in playing with a few toys. She apologized and explained that she and the kids had just lost their apartment and were living in the car, after her husband had gone to jail for child and spousal abuse.

Well, I’m sure you can guess the rest of the story. I ended up telling my therapist I felt pretty silly getting all caught up in my own worries after hearing about this woman’s troubles, and was feeling grateful that my life wasn’t really as difficult as it could be.

I can’t tell you that this single incident “cured” my problems with depression and anxiety, but it definitely did change my thinking about the power of gratitude, and gave me a great tool I still use whenever I’m starting to feel a little down.

It’s incredibly simple. Just sit down for two minutes and think about what you have to be grateful for today. Come up with 3-5 things that make your life better than it would otherwise be at that moment, and write them down. These don't have to be big things--in fact, this will probably work better if you focus on little things that change from day to day. Putting the same things on your list every time will make the exercise less effective. So you might include something like being grateful for not having a headache, or enjoying your morning coffee that day, or having a pleasant moment with a family member or friend.

If you have the time, think for a minute or two about how and why you have those things in your life, and how to keep them there. If what you’re grateful for is having certain other people in your life, think about how you can let them know how you feel.

If life is pretty hard right now, this may feel a little artificial, trivial, or phony at first. But do it at least once a week anyway–fake it until you make it, if you have to.

If life is really hard today, and things to be grateful for don’t spring to mind, go spend an hour volunteering at the local food bank, soup kitchen, or homeless shelter–or anyplace where you’re likely to find other people having a hard time. Or get on the message boards at Sparkpeople or another site you’re involved in, look for someone else having a hard time, and say something encouraging to them.

The distance between a bad mood and a good mood often isn’t nearly as far as we think it is, and the shortest route is often to practice a little gratitude for what you already have.

You don’t have to take my word for it–there is lots of scientific research supporting the practice of gratitude. And there is a pretty large and active community of gratitude practitioners on the SP message boards you can talk to about this.

Why not give it a try yourself, right here, right now.

What do you have to be grateful for today?

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