Sunday, February 17, 2008
Well, today I have nothing scheduled. I will probably take a walk at some point, as the temp here is rather moderate for this time of year...rain is coming and so are colder temps tomorrow...seize the day!
Found this today and gave me a few flashbacks:
Top 10 Signs You Need to Lose Weight
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I don’t know about you, but I’d rather laugh than cry when life sneaks up on me and cracks me right between the eyes. Case in point: my weight.
It wasn’t that long ago that I was arguably in the best shape of my adult life. But being the yo-yo dieter that I am—with emphasis on the yo-yo part—I not only lost most of my muscle tone and gained back the fat, but I packed on a few extra pounds for bad measure.
Now, I could look at the number on the scale, throw myself on my bed and sob over my self-inflicted misfortune. But that’s not my style. Instead, I’m gonna take a lighthearted look (at least something around here is light!) at the top 10 sure signs I desperately need to lose weight. See if you can relate.
#10: You find yourself sucking air after performing the acrobatic maneuver needed to get socks on your feet.
Like some contortionist from Cirque de Soleil, I have to perfectly gauge the distance I need to bend at the waist with the distance I need to lift my leg. Accuracy is everything. I can only hold this position for seconds at a time without aborting the mission and gasping for breath!
#9: To button your pants, you have to lie on the bed.
I usually flop about and groan like the demon-possessed girl in the Exorcist. Scary behavior like this means you’re fat or that you are too cheap to replace the jeans you wore in high school…20+ years ago!
#8: You steer your car with your knees since both hands are busy holding a sugary 64-ounce fountain drink.
When I'm drinking the bucket-sized sodas, I know that I'm in trouble. It means I have chosen gluttony over portion control.
#7: You have a gut.
Occasionally, the lower portion of my gut sports the unmistakable markings of my car's steering wheel. This phenomenon usually leads to...
#6: Your driver's seat is reclined so far back that you can easily touch the rear window by scratching your ear.
Yep, this is a sure sign that I'm fat and desperately trying to escape sign #7.
#5: Your pile of picked-clean chicken bones resembles the sun-bleached skeletons found in old pirate movies.
I know I've been especially thorough if Scruffy, my ever-hungry golden retriever, turns up his nose at the barren bones I've just finished working over.
#4: Shirts with a single X on the size label aren't comfy enough anymore.
Same goes for pants with waistlines of less than 40. When my larger than life clothes are tightening, I know it's time for a change.
#3: The Mansierre (or Bro) episode of Seinfeld stops being funny.
Because, like Frank Costanza, I too could use a tad more support...up there.
#2: A wrestling match with your kids clocks in shorter than the commercials aired between evening news segments.
I need the remainder of that annoying Cialis ad to catch my breath…and to slurp a little of my supersized Pepsi.
#1: I know need to lose weight when I play Dracula and avoid mirrors at all costs.
Hey, it's easier to remain in denial if I don't have to come face-to-face with those chipmunk cheeks that sort of resemble mine...only much heavier!
Please don’t get mad at me for picking on a fat person—I am that fat person. But I won’t let this knowledge mire me in the sadness and depression that leads to inaction. So laugh a little, and smile too. With the proper motivation and support, a little exercise and some healthier food choices, there is light at the end of the tunnel.
During his 25-year writing and editing career, John has written for several newspapers, tabloids and websites. One of his newest gigs is as co-writer of BadFoodGoodFood.com.
While this was obviously written from a man's perspective, there are a lot of parallels to my (and I'm sure many other) experience. It's good to have this as a reminder of where I came from and what I never want to go back to!
This of course relates to today's healthy reflection:
Adversity and loss make a man wise.
- Welsh Proverb
Victory over Trials
The need to weather hard times is constantly part of our. Do you ever think of these hurdles in a positive light? The next time you are faced with opposition, instead of looking at it as a source of anxiety, view it as an opportunity! Can you apply what you have learned to other areas of your life? Will this experience make you stronger and wiser next time around? Sometimes the worst and most painful experiences are the ones that help us grow the most. Having a positive attitude can deflate even the scariest situation. Overcoming adversity can help you achieve the extraordinary!
Any reminder of where I started, no matter how painful, is a good learning lesson. I know that going back is not an option for me. The lessons I've learned that will keep me from that are of course, eating properly and exercising daily. Whenever I tried to lose weight in the past, I always thought of the process as being "temporary", something that I would get through, and then abandon. Now, I've learned that I will never abandon the healthy habits I've adopted. I understand that in order to continue to enjoy my life as it is now, I must always do those two things(eat right and exercise). That doesn't upset me, or make me feel overwhelmed, instead it is a comfort to know that every morning I will wake up, eat properly and go to the gym(or outdoors for a run or bike ride)! I look forward to it, rather than feel doomed by it.
Saturday, February 16, 2008
The best years of your life are the ones in which you decide your problems are your own. You do not blame them on your mother, the ecology, or the president. You realize that you control your own destiny.
- Albert Ellis
Do you feel in control of your life? No matter how negative events or actions may become, you are the only force that is able to determine the reaction. Often we fail to do this, and instead blame the world for our feelings of sadness, rejection, and hopelessness. The reality is that your actions are a choice, and you must claim those feelings and choices. We can be our best cheerleader or worst enemy when it comes to determining the health of our emotions. Do some pep talks with yourself each morning. This will help you develop positive, self-affirming thoughts that will enhance your personal development and growth.
We all have our reasons for ending up as obese adults. When the reasons become irrelevent is when we finally take action by owning responsibility and taking the necessary steps to change. For years I allowed myself the excuse of "I have 5 children to raise" which was just a rationalization for doing nothing to change things. That was the easy way out. It required no effort, no thought, no responsibility on my part. But the more I allowed anything to be my excuse, the worse my situation got. Very few things brought me joy, with the exception of those 5 wonderful kids, but nothing having to do with me was joyful, because I hated who I was. Hating the outside led to a loathing so deep that anything good in me didn't matter, I only saw the fat, disgusting person the world saw.
We can all begin anew if we chose to accept responsibility for ourselves and acting to gain back our self-esteem. No one else in the world can do that for us, no trainer, or nutritionist, friend, loved one, only us. Knowing that is really quite empowering, as opposed to being daunting.
Today was a really beutiful New Jersey day. Though the temp was on the chilly side, the sun was bright and powerful. Going out for a run in the park was uplifting and invigorating. These kinds of winter days have been few and far between, so I have to take advantage when the opportunity presents itself.
Friday, February 15, 2008
Metabolism has always been a buzzword in fitness-the secret weapon that can help you drop the last 10 pounds and keep it off. How? Find the right degree of cardio to burn fat. "By worling in different zones of intensity, your body becomes more efficiet at burning calories," explains Geralyn Coopersmith, national senior manager of the Eqinox Fitness Training Institute. That means doing a longer, steady-paced workout one day and a shorter, high-intensity interval session the next. The fitter you become, the more calories you'll burn from fat.
Next, add strength training to your program. A pound of well-conditioned muscle burns more than three times the calories as a pound of fat, says Wayne Wescott, Ph.D., author of Get Stronger, Feel Younger. The key is to use weight that's not wimpy-one heavy enough to fully challenge your muscles by the final rep.
deadlift 4 x4 85 lb
deadlift 2x12 75 lb
lat pulldown 4 x4 75lb
lat pulldown 2 x12 65lb
seated rowing machine 4 x 4 85lb
seated rowing machine 2 x12 70lb
shoulder shrugs 4 x4 45lb
shoulder shrugs 2 x12 35lb
barbell curl 4x4 45lb
barbell curl 2x12 35
incline dumbbell curl 4 x 4 15lb
incline dumbbell curl 2 x12 10lb
reverse bicep curls 4 x4 35lb
reverse bicep curls 2 x12 25lb
55 minutes of spin class=cardio
I haven't had a very good food week. There has been way too much cereal eating(dry of course) late at night. I'm quite unhappy with my choices this week in terms of not snacking. I have only 3 days to try and get it right, or else this could be a weight gain week! No excuses, just a lack of focus.
By Friday, I'm exhausted. I think it has to do with the fact that we have gone out both W&Th nights, which makes my evening last a bit longer as I take sometime to wind down once I get home. Next week it shouldn't be an issue as we're not going dancing W night, so I'll see if it helps. If so, I'll just have to be more diligent in coming home and getting into a restful sleep mode sooner.
I also think I'm going to try to mix up the cardio this week. While my spin class incorporates intervals and steady bursts I think I should also use the cardio machines or run to mix it up some. The funny thing is that I just seem to enjoy the spinning more than most other things, but comfort level is a bad thing when trying to keep losing weight, so that will be next week's goal.
Thursday, February 14, 2008
WOW, today I made up for skipping the decline crunches that I ran out of time for during yesteday's lift (by running out of time I mean I didn't get finished before spin class). I did 3 sets of the decline crunches with a 12 pound medicine ball. Then I followed that up with reverse crunches with a 12 pound med ball, supersetted with 3 sets of 15 oblique side-bends 12 lbs. After that I used the cable machine/ball to do 2 sets of 15 crunches with 30 pounds and lastly I used the lower ab machine with 45 pounds to do 3 sets of lower ab crunches...then I proceeded to the spin room and started 10 minutes before class, did the 45 minute class, and another20 minutes after class to burn 627 calories. Today, I used my own music because I'm just sick-to-death with this instructor's lame music! Just another example of adapting and making the best of a situation...no excuse is a good excuse!
So I got the following e-mail from the USA Today reporter:
Congratulations! I wanted to let you know that our panel has selected your story to be featured in our Weight Loss Challenge series.
Your story is tentatively scheduled to run on a Monday in late April or early May but that may change. I'll keep you posted.
You will be hearing from Katye Martens, our photo editor. She will be sending a photographer to your home or gym to take an after photograph. I'll also be calling you again for a few more details for the piece.
Thank you for sharing your story. It's a great one and will inspire many people.
I'll be back in touch soon.
So, it looks like I made the cut! I'm excited to have people hear my story so that they can realize that it's possible to lose even an excessive amount of weight without surgery, gimmicky diets, pills etc. I honestly cringe everytime I see another ad, program, etc. telling all of us that we are not capable without some extreme measure. Well, I'm living proof that we are capable of doing anything we want, and we don't need anyone/anything but ourselves!
I also was the fortunate recipient of the most precious e-mail from a fellow sparker. NEWMARILYN made my day with a very inspirational note that included the following words: Don't let your tomorrow be like yesterday
Cause I spoke to God, I called out your name
And on your behalf, I just asked if He would be there for you
I want you to Be Blessed, Don't live life in distress
Just let go, let God, He'll work it out for you
I pray that your soul will be blessed
Forever in his rest, Cause you deserve his best no less
Be blessed from the bottom of your feet to the crown of your head
Your life be blessed
Your family be blessed
Your finances be blessed
Everything about you
Thanks Marilyn, I really do feel blessed. Each day brings a new joy and a fresh beginning that I'm so grateful to receive.
Wednesday, February 13, 2008
Donkey Calf raises 4 12 220
leg extension machine 4 4 85
wall sits 4 4 25
wall sits 2 12 15
step ups 4 x4 25 lb
step ups 2x 12 10 lb
bridge/leg curl/ball 2x 4 12 lb
bridge/leg curl/ball 2 x15 8 lb
leg curl machine 2x 12 35lb
leg curl machine 2 x12 35 lb
leg extension machine 2 x12 35 lb
leg extension machine 2x 12 35 lb
leg extension machine 2 x12 85 lb
Donkey Calf raises 4 x12 220 lb
once again I ran out of time to do the ab workout...which in this program is only decline ab bench, so tomorrow I'll allow time to do a complete ab workout and my cardio. Spin class was very good today and I hit my target of at least 500calories burned (524) so that's always good.
The Fat Perspective
Essential substances, including fats, must be ingested in optimum quantities to build optimum health. Surveys show that the majority of the members of affluent populations are obtaining too little of many essential substances, leading to deteriorating health which in turn leads to degeneration due to malnutrition and ultimately kills two-thirds of the world's population. In fact, more than 70% of people die from just three conditions that involve fatty degeneration: cardiovascular disease (50%), cancer (25%), and diabetes (3%).
The fact is that some fats are absolutely required for health while others are detrimental. If the right kinds of fats are ingested in the right amounts and balances, they build our health and keep us healthy. The wrong kinds of fats, the wrong amounts and balances can cause degenerative diseases.
Fatty acids are part of the basic structure of dietary fats. Almost all dietary fats contain a mixture of saturated, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids. The type of fatty acid that predominates determines whether it is solid or liquid as well as its stability. They are key building blocks of all fats and oils (lipids) both in our foods and in our body. Fatty acids are also the main components in neutral fats (triglycerides) carried in our blood, and stored fat (adipose) which serves as an important source of energy.
Saturated fats are found primarily in animal products such as beef, veal, pork, lamb, and ham as well as whole milk, cream, coconut oil, and vegetable shortening.
Saturated fats are used by the body to make cholesterol. A high dietary intake can raise LDL (‘bad’ cholesterol) levels in the blood, increasing your risk of heart disease.
It is recommended to limit your intake of saturated fats to less than 10% of your total daily calories.
Found mostly in corn, soybean, safflower, and sunflower oils and certain fish oils, these fats may actually lower your total blood cholesterol levels. But they may also lower your good cholesterol (HDLs) and are still high in calories. They should not exceed 10% of your total daily caloric intake.
Monounsaturated Fats These fats are found in olive, peanut, and canola oils. It is thought that monounsaturated fats may reduce LDLs (bad) without affecting HDLs (good). It is recommended that these fats make up no more than 10-15% of your total caloric intake.
Trans-fatty acids occur when polyunsaturated fats are hydrogenated to make margarine and shortening. While the jury is still out, it is thought that trans-fatty acids behave much like saturated fats, raising LDL cholesterol.
Essential Fatty acids (EFA)
Essential fatty acids are sources of Omega-6 and Omega-3 fatty acids (technically categorized as polyunsaturated fatty acids). They include linoleic and linolenic acids. The body must have these essential fatty acids, yet cannot synthesize them itself. One of the main functions of essential fatty acids is the production of prostaglandins which are hormone-like substances that regulate many body functions. They basically control every cell of the body on a second-by-second basis. They are required for energy production and increase oxidation and metabolic rate. Some of the many benefits of EFA's for the body are reducing blood pressure, preventing inflammation, stimulating immunity, reducing joint tenderness, and positively influencing HDL/LDL cholesterol levels.
We are conditioned to think of cholesterol as the enemy, our bodies do need cholesterol. In fact, much of our cholesterol is made in-house, by the liver. People don't need to consume dietary cholesterol because the body can make enough cholesterol for its needs. But the typical diet contains substantial amounts of cholesterol, found in foods such as egg yolks, liver, meat, some shellfish, and whole-milk dairy products. Only foods of animal origin contain cholesterol.
Cholesterol is transported in the bloodstream in large molecules of fat and protein called lipoproteins. Cholesterol carried in low-density lipoproteins is called LDL-cholesterol; most cholesterol is of this type. Cholesterol carried in high-density lipoproteins is called HDL-cholesterol. LDL-cholesterol and HDL-cholesterol act differently in the body. A high level of LDL-cholesterol in the blood increases the risk of fatty deposits forming in the arteries, which in turn increases the risk of a heart attack. Thus, LDL-cholesterol has been dubbed "bad" cholesterol. On the other hand, an elevated level of HDL-cholesterol seems to have a protective effect against heart disease. For this reason, HDL-cholesterol is often called "good" cholesterol.
Body fat (fat present in the cells of adipose tissue) is probably the fat that most people are familiar with. Body fat is vital to daily body functions. It cushions the joints and protects the organs, helps regulates body temperature, stores vitamins and helps the body sustain itself when food is scarce. However, serious health risks have been associated with both too much and too little body fat.
The following table describes body fat ranges and their associated categories:
Classification Women (% fat) Men (% fat)
Essential Fat 10-12% 2-4%
Athletes 14-20% 6-13%
Fitness 21-24% 14-17%
Acceptable 25-31% 18-25%
Obese 32% + 25% +
*General Body Fat Percentages
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