*AMBER512   207,508
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*AMBER512's Recent Blog Entries

Wow am I sore!

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

So I've been bouncing back and forth between high and low cardio days. So on my low cardio day, I did about an hour of strength training. It felt really good!

Then yesterday I did a high cardio day including a brand new class. They turned my hour long kickboxing class in to a 30 minute cardio express and a 30 minute ab lab.

So for the cardio half we basically did a step class. I have never done step aerobics before and while it didn't feel that hard, I am SO freagin' sore today!

I've been stretching out my arms and legs and trying to convince my body to relax. What really stinks is that my mind is completely ready to go work out. My mind is sitting here thinking "Come on! Let's go to the gym! It'll be fun!" And I stand up to go get something and my legs scream "no, no more moving. EVER!"

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    I remember the first time I worked out with a trainer, I couldn't sit down on the toilet without leaning on the bathtub. It was horrible!!!! TOO many lunges apparently. You're body will heal, but stretch stretch stretch!!!

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DNJEN471 2/7/2008 11:05AM

    I felt like that a few days ago. Spend too much time shoveling snow. So I took the next day off. I swear by the day after that I was even more sore but determined not to let it get me down. so I worked out anyway and you know what? I felt better! Crazy as it sounds! Maybe working out again will help ease the pain.

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SQUEEBONE 2/6/2008 8:49PM

    LOL I wish I had your problem! Good for you!

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MDTWEETY 2/6/2008 8:22PM

    Kudos on the strength training -- I used to never strength train and now I love it! I've realized too how important it is. And yeah, it's always fun to mix up the workout with new classes and such. Wow, it's been ages since I have done step aerobics. I remember it being fun though.

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TWISTMONKII 2/6/2008 5:21PM

    Good job!!

I did a different cardio video today with what seemed like endless lunges... I'm pretty sure I will need a wheelchair by morning. lol

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What I'm reading...

Friday, February 01, 2008

So here is an excerpt from The Obesity Myth by Paul Campos that I was reading today from the chapter The Last 10 Pounds.

"In America today, dieters who are looking to lose anything like 10 pounds are most invariably attempting to conform to a cultural ideal that is inimical to having a healthy body. A woman who weighs 10 pounds more than the current cultural ideal in all likelihood already weighs 10-30 pounds less than she would if she ate normally and exercised moderately. For such a woman, an ideally healthy weight would be precisely that: the weight she would maintain more or less naturally, by avoiding a neurotic attitude towards food, while engaging in moderate levels of physical activity."

This got me thinking...when selecting a goal weight I don't want to look for a specific number. I put down a number just to keep a goal in mind, but my end weight won't be one I predetermined. I want it to be a weight that I can maintain. Maybe not all of the time easily, but I don't want it to be a weight I have to work like a maniac to maintain.

I want to be able to go out with friends, have a couple of drinks, and not have to immediately run to the gym the next day in hopes that I can shimmy it all off of me.

I don't want to get to a place where I can't enjoy food and I feel like I must exercise for at least 2 hours a day, every day. I'm not that person and I don't want to be that person.

I want to be able to breathe, run, jump, and be happy! Yes, I want to lose weight, but I more so want to be healthy AND happy. Is that too much to ask?

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LGROGERS 2/5/2008 7:58PM

    You are so right here!! i also want to be able to live a healthy life but one i enjoy and don't have to be totally nuerotic about!! This was a great post!! Good thoughts to reflect on!!

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LISALU910 2/5/2008 8:37AM

  I have to add another comment here: According to the "experts" the formula for our ideal weight is 100 lbs for 5 feet plus 5 lbs per inch (for women). Also, they tell us we shouldn't ever weigh more than we weighed at age 18 - when we have reached full maturity. So going by that I should weigh 117 lbs at 5'3" (at age 18 I did weigh 115 lbs.) I can't even wrap my mind around that number. That is at least 50 POUNDS less than I weigh now. :(

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DNJEN471 2/2/2008 12:37PM

    An excellent point. I think that when I put in my goal weight I had in mind, "that would be nice" but knew it would be okay to be 10 pounds heavier then that too. So I really have a range of where I would like to stay.

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HAGGARDMOM 2/1/2008 8:50PM

    I feel exactly the same way... it's why I haven't really tried too hard to lose any more weight. Even though I'm not at my original goal, I *am* at a point where I am comfortable with being able to maintain my calorie intake (and hopefully, with SP help, stay there). And if I mess up one day, I'm not out of pants the next day LOL.

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The Obesity Myth

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

I've been reading a lot lately! In fact, I probably spend at least an hour a day reading now. So, I’ve been going to the library a lot and I found this book called The Obesity Myth.

I'm only about a quarter into it, but it's basically about how as a society Americans are being told that there is this obesity "epidemic." He's saying that while there are a lot of overweight and obese Americans (well, duh) that it is in no way an "epidemic."

He delves into scientific study after scientific study where obesity researchers come to the conclusion that fat people should get skinny because that'd be healthier for them, when that's not what their studies are showing them. While it is better to be active and healthy, he says that we shouldn't automatically look to the overweight person and tell them that they are unhealthy and that the way to become healthy is to lose weight. Changing their lifestyle? Yes, but not necessarily shedding massive amounts of pounds.

He focuses on the fact that we should be encouraging EVERYONE to eat better and become more active. Not assuming that the person of "normal" weight is healthier than an "overweight" person. When the actual number on the scale does not, in and of itself, determine how healthy one is.

In fact, studies have found that moderately active, overweight people are healthier than sedentary thin people. But obesity researchers don't like that conclusion. Especially since they are partnered with numerous diet and pharmaceutical companies. They want "obesity" to be this big, bad disease that needs to be cured. They want to sell their diet pills; they want people to keep buying the next new "diet fad."

What worries the author (sorry I don't have the book in front of me, I can't remember his name) is that people are constantly being told that losing weight is the only way they can become healthier. Which leads most people (not us, here on Spark!) to use unhealthy diet measures just to change the number on the scale. Then they’ve “beat” the disease. The number of the scale is down and their doctor can give them a nice pat on the back. That is, until the constant deprivation leads them to "cheat" and binge. This "weight cycling" as he calls it, is detrimental to our health. In fact, studies have shown that remaining overweight is HEALTHIER than yo-yo dieting.

When I first began to read this I thought, well that can't be right, but it makes perfect sense if you think about it. Going on a cycle of eating too little, eating too much, eating too little, eating too much, is not the way to live your life! If my only options were to yo-yo diet or to be overweight, I'd very much like to remain overweight please!

Right now I’m in a section about fat culture. I don’t know about other countries, but I know that in America, “average” people look at overweight people as though they have some sort of disease. How people think to themselves “geez, just eat less.” As though it were something as simple as that.

I’ll probably write a blog once I’ve finished the book to determine what I think about the whole thing. What I do know is that he is right in saying that we should be focusing on being active and eating right. Not necessarily trying to make a certain number show up on the scale, or to fit into a certain pant size.

Here are Sparkpeople we are learning every day how to become healthier people. Which leaves me with almost a sense of accomplishment that I know how to do something in a healthy way that can last a lifetime. No yo-yo dieting for me!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LISALU910 2/5/2008 8:29AM

  Hi Amber...first of all I loved looking at your pictures. You have such a great smile and healthy glow. You're doing great getting in shape!

The book you are reading is interesting. I have often wondered about that myself. For example, by the BMI charts I am "obese" (which is a godawful, ugly word). But this "obese", middle aged, mother of four ran for an hour yesterday - a little over five miles. That isn't such an amazing feat in and of itself, but I know for a fact that my thin best friend can't do it. Neither can my size 4, 22 year old DIL! I'm not saying I'm necessarily in better shape than they are - they aren't unhealthy or anything - but it is just because I run regularly that I am able to do it. Yet all my doctor sees is a number on a scale which correlates with "obese". Also, maybe its just me but I am SICK AND TIRED of hearing how "thin" Europeans are. There may be some good reasons for that, which is that they walk and ride bikes a lot more than we do. But on the other hand, I have been to Europe and I can tell you that almost EVERYBODY smokes. Smoking can keep you "thin" if that's all that matters. We all know thin, stringy people whose weight is exactly right sucking down a pack a day! Maybe our "obesity epidemic" somehow correlates with the fact that we have a lot fewer smokers than we did back in the 50's when everyone smoked but everyone was thin!

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JUDYGREG 1/31/2008 3:44PM

    I went to the store yesterday and ONE orange cost over a $1.
The same price as all the junk food on the fast food dollar menu.
NO wonder Americans are fat! It is cheaper and easier to eat bad food, compared with healthy food. Makes no sense that processed high calorie food is LESS expensive than food right off the tree! That is what is making Americans fat!

By the way, you look absolutely FANTASTIC!

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HONKEIE 1/31/2008 12:13PM

    I read a book called "Fat Land" this past summer for a skool paper I did on how we got to be this way. And it goes heavily into the business of how people got heavy. And how going cheap saved our country during the Nixion era but hurt our waist lines. One of the topics is sugar vs. HFCS (high fructose corn syrup). This product alone helped farmers dig themselves out of a money pit, corn sales went through the roof soon as companies stopped using sugar and switched to HFCS. It takes a drop of this stuff to equal what they call the 'good mouth feel' to the 3 cups of sugar needed to get the same effect.
It was and still is about business and the bottom dollar. Pepsi and Coke were able to keep the same level of sugary goodness in their products for less money, what business man would not go for that? But the side effects of good business is bad news for us and our stomaches.
Did you know that HFCS does not start digesting until it hits the pancrease (sp). This means that this concentrated version of sugar hits this organ in the same level sweetness as it did as you swallowed it. Ouch! I have tried with all my might to avoid HFCS, it isnt easy but I avoid it like the plauge. I will take sugar any day over a sweetner that might the main cause of diabeties in the United States!

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DNJEN471 1/30/2008 10:52PM

    See that is what I love about sparkpeople. It is not a diet, it is not a fad... it is a lifestyle change. It is changing your outlook on the way you live your life. It is not temporary... It is permanent and it works! It really works! When I track my calories, water and exercise- I lose. It is as simple as that! Very interesting. I would like to read the book, so if you get the chance send me the name and the author.

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DIETCOKE21 1/30/2008 5:23PM

    i completely agree with this.. in HS i was 140lbs at 5'9" healthy weight for my height

i could barely run a mile in 12mins when my obese friend could do it in 10.. i cut cals extremely but ate crap foods with my salads and she eat healthy just more of it..

even now people look at me even at my heaviest and said i wasnt heavy (carry weight well) but im the fittest ive ever been

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GAERWEN 1/30/2008 4:49PM

  I read this some time ago and it made me go through a range of emotions. I think I felt every color of the emotion rainbow. I do agree that being thin does not necessarily make you healthy, just as being overweight does not necessarily make you unhealthy. I can't wait to read your review when you finish the book.

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MKOLENZ 1/30/2008 4:18PM

    this is really interesting. i agree with you and the author (whoever they are!!) my mom just got involved with a doc who is encourageing the "no whites" diet. ugh. it's so frustrating!!! i wish i could get her more computer savvy to get her on SP!!! good luck to you!

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"Happy Weight"

Monday, January 21, 2008

So in the February issue of Self there is a way to calculate your "happy weight." It says "Stop aiming for an unrealistic goal and use this formula to get your ideal digits."

So I go through the calculations waiting for the exciting answer to my "what's my happy weight?" question. So what is it? My "happy weight" is apparently 128, which is 17 pounds lower than my goal weight! They had a whole article where the women said what their goal weights are and then the expert saying what their happy weight SHOULD be. Their happy weights were all higher than their goal weights!

It basically just made me feel sad that they want me to lose even more weight than I planned! For reference here is what you're supposed to do.

Multiply your height by itself. (since I'm 5'4'' I multiply 64*64). Then you multiply it by .031

If you have a small frame you multiply your result by .95 or by 1.05 if you have a large frame. (if you have a medium frame, like me, leave the number alone)

Add 1 pound if a sibling or parent is obese.

Add 2 pounds for each decade you are over age 20. (since I'm almost 25 I added one pound)

Add 5 pounds if you've had any children.

Subtract 2 pounds if you exercise and weight train once a week, subtract 2 pounds if you do it three times a week, or subtract 3 pounds for five or more times a week.

Add 4 pounds if you smoked at least a pack a day for a year or more and have since quit.

Add 1 pound if you allow yourself a treat now and then.

My result after all of these calculations, was again 128. I might have weighed that in middle school. I know I didn't weigh that in high school. The problem is I have no frame of reference for me at that weight, so I'm not sure how realistic it is!

I've decided that my "happy weight" will be what they said it was in the beginning. A healthy number "that would enable them to live well (dessert!), look great, and maintain peace of mind." Whatever that number is when I get there, I will be happy!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JUDYGREG 1/31/2008 3:49PM

    My Happy weight turned out to be 142. Still lower than the 146 I thought I would be happy with. At the start of this journey I wanted to lose 100 lbs. When I get closer, maybe I will decide more, maybe less. But right now, I am so far away, that "happy" weight is still a fantasy!

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GAERWEN 1/30/2008 1:49PM

  Very interesting. I'm not sure I like their idea of my happy weight though. If you are happy at a certain weight, then I think you are happy no matter what anyone else says. Thanks for posting. BTW YOU look Great!

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RUNTRILAUGH 1/30/2008 1:25PM

    Wow - interesting article, glad it only gave me 1 "5 pound" addition for both kids instead of an extra 10 pounds! Wonder how much time/energy/money was spent to come up with that calculation!!!! Thanks for sharing!

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MEREBEARBLAKE 1/29/2008 10:15AM

    Thanks for posting that...mine is about 8 pounds lower than my goal weight as well...not that I'd be apposed to trying, but like it seems everyone else is saying it's about how you FEEL! You're a huge motivation...looking at your page and seeing your progression is certainly uplifting. keep up the good work and thank you!!!

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SIMPLYTHAT 1/27/2008 3:40PM

    My "happy weight" is 134...so an additional 6 lbs loss from my current goal.

I'm not into this calculation thing though. I'm just going to stop when I get happy vs. letting a calculation determine said happiness!

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WIGGLEMETHIN 1/26/2008 1:37PM

    I say screw the artical also,,it says my happy weight should be 126, i'm over 40 yrs young and i would be happy at a weight of 145,,if i get less then that so be it..

Good luck on your journey

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SAMANTHAKALLAS 1/24/2008 10:50AM

    my happy weight is 145. I think i weighed that when I was 10. I'm sure that it's possible, MAYBE, but not betting on it. My happy weight is anything under 200. I agree screw the article, but shoot for your goals nonetheless.

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KITTYKAT_MEOW 1/22/2008 5:07PM

  That's right! Don't let those magazines get you down!! Half of what they say is full of crap anyway...You need to set your goal according to YOU, every person is different, and once you reach that goal, you'll know it, because you'll be content with it, and start to maintain it. You can't decide your "happy weight" by adding a pound for every kid you pop out! Just unrealistic!!

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HONKEIE 1/22/2008 1:33PM

    That is bullsheet! Sorry for the language but I have truckdirver genes in me....I thnk most of these so called health magazines are written by ppl that dont eat. Mine "happy weight" is 176! WTF, I have noooo desire to look like a scranny little boy! Hell if I could have my way I would want to be heavier with all muscles, but I live in reality so I will take less weight and just a little more muscles lol. Happy weight is just that, what YOU are happy with not what some trash rag of a mag says you should be.

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DNJEN471 1/21/2008 10:21PM

    Good thinking... screw the article!

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TWISTMONKII 1/21/2008 1:25PM

    My "happy weight" came out to 127. The smallest I've ever been as an adult was 128 and I still didn't like the way I looked. My clothes were cute but I just had an all too narrow look to me.. like a giraffe or something. My goal of 135 seems much more realistic to me!

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DICHOTOMYGIRL 1/21/2008 12:45PM

    You know what? My happy weight is 197. In 2006, I lost 83 pounds, and got down to that weight. I liked it there. I felt great, I could shop in regular stores, and I thought I looked pretty good too. I gained it all back in 2007, and now, my only goal is to get back to that place. (according to them, my happy weight should be 140, which ironically was my original goal weight, but what do they know anyway?)

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MDTWEETY 1/21/2008 8:52AM

    Hi Amber! You are right, your happy weight is truly what YOU would be happy with, not what some formula says. I would re-evaluate once you reach the goal weight that you decided for yourself initially and then see if you are happy with it or want to lose more. You have accomplished so much already! Don't be discouraged.

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More motivation for me

Friday, January 11, 2008

So I was thinking about my pictures recently. I don't know why, but they don't seem to be showing as much progress as I thought I'd been making. Then I started looking at some of my really old pictures.

Let me just say WOW! What the heck was I thinking? They show a LOT of progress! It's almost like my mind isn't ready to start thinking of myself as a skinnier person.

I saw the particular wedding picture of myself and thought "geez, who is that person? What the heck is wrong with her?"

I never realized how much of a mental game this weight loss thing was. I'm amazed every day by how much it takes to be successful, and yet how little all at the same time.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

HONKEIE 1/16/2008 2:10PM

    Everyone that has ever made it to the "I am sexier than thou" level of fitness will say that the mental part is harder than the physical part. Getting up the mental energy often time kills the physical energy.

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KAREN_01 1/16/2008 4:41AM

    Hi, I haven't been to your blog in a while and am really impressed with your progress
Seeing progress is sometimes difficul. Because you and the people around you get used to the way you look and change everyday. Even myself who have lost 35 pounds, have been demotivated because people didn't notice it. Even people I havent seen in a while.
that is why pictures are so important. It really shows us how we look- whether we like it or not - and it does show us the progress we have made. It can be a good motivator.
Keep up the good work.

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DNJEN471 1/11/2008 8:07PM

    I dont think we notice it about ourselfs cause we are our own worst cridics! When I posted my small side by side, I can't tell the difference, but my hubby says he can. Every now and again I will come across a pic though and think "oh my gosh, I was huge" and it makes me feel better!

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