All Entries For men's health

3 Symptoms Your Husband Shouldn't Ignore

Your husband says he has a nagging pain below his ribs, chest tightness that won’t quit or has simply been feeling sluggish lately, but doesn’t feel like calling his doctor (or doesn’t have one). Here are three symptoms he (and you) should take seriously.
Posted 4/16/2014  6:00:00 AM By: SparkPeople Guest Blogger : 12 comments   111,921 views
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How This Baseball Fan Lost Almost 300 Pounds*

Stephen Mariani (SJM1027) today weighs 184 pounds, down from a high of 475 pounds. Find out how he did it--and how this baseball fan's dream came true after shedding the weight.  Read his story on the Huffington Post.

Way to go, Stephen!
Posted 4/2/2013  12:00:00 PM By: Stepfanie Romine : 57 comments   23,800 views
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Yes, but Men Lose It Easier

I am declaring war on a six-word sentence.
You may know by now that I started my weight loss journey on December 28th, 2009 with a goal of losing 60 pounds.  I managed to lose 100 and I did it within one calendar year. I lost that weight by fueling my body with the rights foods and working hard-- very hard.

I’d like to share with you a phrase that I’ve heard during my journey: ''Yes, but men lose it easier.''  Although this phrase is only six words long, it can have a much more disastrous effect than it might seem. Have you ever heard these words while on your journey?  Have you ever used those words to another person on a weight loss journey?

This phrase can be used as encouragement for some.  For others it is used as an accusation, as a means of denial, as a crutch.  It is the epitome of the double-edged sword.  These words can cut like a knife, no question about it.  I am certain that people who have uttered these words either to me or to another individual did NOT mean them in a harmful way.  When a man is working hard and doing all things right and is finding success with his journey, why are folks so quick to knock his success with the phrase, ''Yes, but men lose it easier''?  It is a complaint really, isn’t it?  It isn't usually said in praise.  Here is the deal: this phrase is hurtful.  It can deflate all the sense of accomplishment that a man feels for the work that he has done.  This phrase says that his work doesn’t count, that his struggles don't count. Chances are, that man will not give a complete picture of what he is going through.  There is a mental battle that is being fought right alongside the physical one.  I’ve said before that the emotions of this journey are sometimes the hardest part.  These six words can do a great deal of damage that will require even greater work to overcome.
Posted 2/27/2012  10:00:00 PM By: Jerome Merlau : 46 comments   9,602 views
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Waking Up to What You're Really Eating

If you have been following along with my weekly blogs, you know this is the second in a series.  Last week we talked about WAKING UP and beginning to LIVE again.

How many calories do you eat in a day?

Did you stay within your recommended calorie range?

When did you last look at a label to know what is in the food you're buying?

Do you know what your BMR calorie burn is for a typical day?

You aren't sure about any of those answers?  I wasn't either when I started but I am here to tell you it is all at your fingertips.

This month, I'm sharing my personal success factors that helped me lose 100 pounds and keep it off.

Step 1: Know WHAT/HOW much you eat daily (track it).

Here's the deal: If we really want the outside of our body to look great, we must take care of what we put IN our bodies.  I'm sure we've all heard that saying "garbage in and garbage out."  Well, it's true.  If we put garbage in our bodies, then that's what we'll get out of our bodies.  Your body is a very meticulous machine.  Learning to FUEL your body is not easy; however, you'll notice a difference fairly quickly if you pay attention to what you put in it.  Yes, this means that if you give up a few things like fast food and soda alone, and replace them with a healthy snack and 8 cups of water a day, you will see a huge difference. 

I have to give massive props to my wife for the idea of looking at the labels at the store.  She did the homework and realized that changing our family's lifestyle meant we needed to start paying attention to the packaged products we bought.  If there are words on the ingredients list that we cannot pronounce, we simply don't buy it.  There are other items that we no longer buy if the sugar content is too high or the sodium is out of control.  We no longer buy something simply because it says it is fat free.  This can be deceiving unless you look thoroughly at the nutrition label and ingredient list.  Knowing WHAT you are putting in your body matters. 
Posted 1/16/2012  10:00:00 PM By: Jerome Merlau : 51 comments   13,691 views
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Guys, Let's Wake Up and Stop Sleeping Through Life

Editor's note: This is part 1 of a four-part series. Come back each Monday in January for a new dose of motivation from Jerome, who reclaimed his life and lost 100 pounds using SparkPeople!

According to various dictionaries, the word asleep has several definitions: 

Adverb: 1. into a dormant or inactive state.  2. Into the state of death.

Adjective: 1. Sleeping  2. Numb and lastly dead. 

There are many people who are completely asleep when it comes to living.
I am not talking about physically lying in bed, eyes closed all day. I am speaking to all those folks who are crazy busy all day.  Busy with distractions that disconnect them from memorable conversations, meaningful activities, and mindful eating.  Folks who are so busy making it through each day that each week blurs into the next.  Don’t get me wrong.  We all have crazy weeks.  A million things to get done.  It is when these day and weeks stretch into months and even years, that we begin to sleep through life.  Denial sets in, and we no longer even realize we have stopped living.  Denial is an ugly word that means refusing to recognize, acknowledge or believe.

I hear from many members of SparkPeople who joined to help not only themselves but their loved ones as well.  Many I hear from are wives who are trying to help their husbands.  Some are mothers trying to help their sons, others are siblings trying to help a brother.
Posted 1/9/2012  10:00:00 PM By: Jerome Merlau : 30 comments   9,808 views
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The Emotions of Change

Honestly, I never expected so many changes when I decided to take my life back.  Oh sure, I expected to get skinner, but that is where my thought process stopped.  I am not sure I expected or even understood the “healthier” aspect of it all yet.  I’d set out to lose some weight and wouldn’t you know that I lost a ton of baggage as well.  Who knew there were emotions involved with this journey, NOT ME!

I remember being about 20 pounds into my journey and my boss asked me if I had lost some weight.  It shocked me initially that anybody had noticed.  Then I was filled with pride that someone had noticed.  I used that one very quick two minute conversation as motivation to keep going.  Like a lot of people, my weight loss started at my face and worked its way down.   My wife noticed some emotional changes already as I instantly became more pleasant to be around.  I was really pushing myself more than I had in years to be active, and it brought me joy.  By the end of the first four weeks, I was obsessed with fitness and was walking at least twice a day, typically more.
Posted 12/27/2011  10:00:00 PM By: Jerome Merlau : 56 comments   13,886 views
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100 Things about Losing 100 Pounds

December 10, 2010 was a big day for me.

That is the day that I officially lost 100 pounds. As the first anniversary of that date approached, I started to think of all the changes that have happened in my life because of my transformation.  Sure, the easiest part to recognize is the weight loss, but it truly is a transformation, inside and out!

I started writing down things that I’ve learned, things that are better, things I do now, etc.I thought it would be fun to share this list of 100 things about 100 pounds with the readers. 
Posted 12/12/2011  10:00:00 PM By: Jerome Merlau : 87 comments   18,141 views
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Dealing with Emotional Eating, from a Man's Perspective

Hi, my name is Jerome and I am an emotional eater. 

There, I said it.  

I mean, I’ve said it before out loud.

But I thought it was important that I write it down. 

I am a man who is an emotional eater. 

You know what emotional eating is, right?  Any time you feed a feeling and not a growling stomach you're emotionally eating.  Absolutely, we all emotionally eat now and then.  Sometimes we even feed a happy feeling.
Show of hands: how many of us have taken our kids out for a celebratory meal for good grades? Or a home team victory?
It is when this once-in-awhile occurrence becomes a daily necessity when the trouble begins.  When, we begin to tie food to our emotional stability, or rather instability, that we become emotional eaters. 

I know what you’re thinking, “Do men really have a problem with that?”  I’m here to tell you yes!  Men have issues with emotional eating just as women do, we just don’t want to admit it.  I recently read that men constitute about 10% of all emotional eaters.  I don’t believe that, at all!  This is one of those topics that men have our guard up about.  It is one of those topics that is off-limits to talk about.  Knowing that a man’s body burns fat easier than woman’s does, it can be easier for a man to stay thin while emotional eating.  However, as men get older and our metabolism slows, it can catch up with us very quickly.  I look at my own children now and wonder what they were seeing in me when I was always cramming food in my mouth.
Posted 12/5/2011  10:00:00 AM By: Jerome Merlau : 29 comments   9,576 views
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One Man's Journey from Fit to Fat--and Back Again

Growing up, I was not an athlete.

I did wrestle for a number of years, but I was more of a band geek. (Proud to say that too!) I've traveled the world "making music with my friends," as I marched in various marching bands and Drum Corps.   I was always fit, firm and muscular due to the demands that band and Drum Corps put on my body. 

Then, in 1998, I changed careers and got a desk job.  Things started to change.
I quickly grew accustomed to sitting all day.  Sitting behind a desk got easier and easier. It also got easier to sit on my chair at home and do nothing.  

I lost my mother in February 2001 and I started eating, much more than normal.  I never knew I was an emotional eater, but there I was, eating away the grief and loss.  As time moved forward, and my habits did not improve, I slowly grew to my top measured weight of 264 pounds.  I knew I wasn't healthy. I couldn't walk up a small flight of stairs without being winded, I had no energy and I made poor eating choices most of the time. I didn't like what I saw when I looked in the mirror.  I avoided having my picture taken.  In fact it was the picture taken for my security badge at work that scared me into action.  My swollen face and eyes were not a pretty sight! 

That just begs the question words, why, when, how, what?  I simply can't come up with a better answer than I got tired of being fat.  Why at the ripe ole age of 40 did I decide to take my life back? Why, when I knew it was going to take so much discipline, so much work would I make a life changing decision?

I made this decision for me.

Now, let me give you three more reasons I changed my life.  My wife and two daughters.  My wife deserves a husband who is willing and able to help out around the house. I believe she deserves a husband that she can be proud of, who can come home from work and have the energy necessary to help with dinner, kids, activities, etc. My daughters deserve a Daddy who doesn't sit in his chair asleep all the time. They deserve a daddy who has energy to play with them, get on the floor and wrestle, tickle, and not be a grump all the time. They need a role model.

So I made the decision on December 28, 2009 to take my life back!
Posted 11/16/2011  6:00:00 PM By: Jerome Merlau : 80 comments   15,730 views
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Prostate Screening Awareness

With the recent passing of Dennis Hopper from prostate cancer and with Fatherís Day only a few weeks away, now would be a great opportunity to take time to remind the men in our lives to talk with their doctors as to whether or not they need to be screened for prostate cancer. Women have been taught from an early age the importance of a yearly Pap smear and mammogram, when age appropriate, but for many men going to the doctor, especially for this type of exam can be quite embarrassing. As with most other forms of cancer, early diagnosis is essential to getting proper treatment which may allow for a full recovery.

Posted 6/9/2010  2:18:06 PM By: Nancy Howard : 30 comments   10,483 views
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