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Navigating your ship

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

A ship in the harbor is safe. But that's not what ships are built for.
- Anonymous

Taking the easy way out is, well, easy. Human beings naturally stick with their normal routines because they offer feelings of security. But by staying in the same routine, you miss out on new opportunities. In 1975, a third-year student at Harvard University decided to drop out and pursue something else. The student's name was Bill Gates. He saw an opportunity and took the risk. While this doesn't mean that every dream will transform you into a billionaire, it shows that some of world's geniuses took chances to follow their dreams. If you are waiting around for your goals to just fall into your lap, it could take awhile. But your goals are achievable--if you're willing to break from the norm and cast your ship down uncharted waters.

Achieving goals, that's what this is all about. To see yourself in a new and wonderful light, to realize you have become what you always wanted to be, is the ultimate goal to reach!

Here's some interesting info on the 100 calorie snacks:
While the snack packs are winners for portion control and short-term satisfaction, they typically lack hunger-controlling nutrients (fiber, protein and healthy fats). This means that they wonít control your hunger for long and may lead to further snacking and higher calorie consumption over the course of the day. A handful of nuts or a piece of fruit could stave off the munchies for around the same number of calories while also providing key nutrients like fiber or healthy fats.

And despite the fact that the labels on these snack packs claim "0 grams of trans fats," many still contain hydrogenated oilóthe prime source of trans fats. Legally, manufacturers can label products as trans-fat-free if they contains less than 0.5 grams of trans fat per serving.

Smart Snack Alternatives
If you want a healthy, low-calorie snack but donít want to pay the premium for convenience, here are some healthy snacks you can prepare yourself. You'll save money, reduce waste, and stay fuller longer with these 100- to 200-calorie ideas that you can portion out yourself.
Low-fat cottage cheese (4 oz): 80 calories
Raisins (50 or about 1 oz): 85 calories
Skim milk latte (8 oz): 85 calories
Air-popped popcorn (3 cups or 1 oz): 95 calories
Graham crackers (8 small rectangles): 100 calories
Thin pretzel sticks (48 sticks or 1 oz): 100 calories
Celery (5 pieces) with peanut butter (1 Tbsp): 100 calories
Unsweetened applesauce (1 cup): 100 calories
An apple (small) with low-fat cheese (2 oz): 150 calories
Baby carrots (10) with hummus (1/4 cup): 150 calories
Peanuts (a handful or 1 oz): 160 calories
Raw almonds (a handful or 1 oz): 165 calories
Low-fat yogurt (6 oz): 175 calories
Tortilla chips (12 chips or 1 oz) with salsa (1/2 cup): 175 calories
Whole wheat Ritz crackers (10 crackers or 1 oz) with peanut butter (1/2 Tbsp): 175 calories

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KIMANDTONY 3/26/2008 10:29PM

    I am loving your low cal snack ideas. I don't do any of the 100 calorie packs except the 100 calorie popcorn. It is wonderful!
Just tonight I had low cal/low fat tortilla chips and salsa at church for a fiesta night.
So you had some great ideas. Thank you!

Kim

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Navigating your ship

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

A ship in the harbor is safe. But that's not what ships are built for.
- Anonymous

Taking the easy way out is, well, easy. Human beings naturally stick with their normal routines because they offer feelings of security. But by staying in the same routine, you miss out on new opportunities. In 1975, a third-year student at Harvard University decided to drop out and pursue something else. The student's name was Bill Gates. He saw an opportunity and took the risk. While this doesn't mean that every dream will transform you into a billionaire, it shows that some of world's geniuses took chances to follow their dreams. If you are waiting around for your goals to just fall into your lap, it could take awhile. But your goals are achievable--if you're willing to break from the norm and cast your ship down uncharted waters.

Achieving goals, that's what this is all about. To see yourself in a new and wonderful light, to realize you have become what you always wanted to be, is the ultimate goal to reach!

Here's some interesting info on the 100 calorie snacks:
While the snack packs are winners for portion control and short-term satisfaction, they typically lack hunger-controlling nutrients (fiber, protein and healthy fats). This means that they wonít control your hunger for long and may lead to further snacking and higher calorie consumption over the course of the day. A handful of nuts or a piece of fruit could stave off the munchies for around the same number of calories while also providing key nutrients like fiber or healthy fats.

And despite the fact that the labels on these snack packs claim "0 grams of trans fats," many still contain hydrogenated oilóthe prime source of trans fats. Legally, manufacturers can label products as trans-fat-free if they contains less than 0.5 grams of trans fat per serving.

Smart Snack Alternatives
If you want a healthy, low-calorie snack but donít want to pay the premium for convenience, here are some healthy snacks you can prepare yourself. You'll save money, reduce waste, and stay fuller longer with these 100- to 200-calorie ideas that you can portion out yourself.
Low-fat cottage cheese (4 oz): 80 calories
Raisins (50 or about 1 oz): 85 calories
Skim milk latte (8 oz): 85 calories
Air-popped popcorn (3 cups or 1 oz): 95 calories
Graham crackers (8 small rectangles): 100 calories
Thin pretzel sticks (48 sticks or 1 oz): 100 calories
Celery (5 pieces) with peanut butter (1 Tbsp): 100 calories
Unsweetened applesauce (1 cup): 100 calories
An apple (small) with low-fat cheese (2 oz): 150 calories
Baby carrots (10) with hummus (1/4 cup): 150 calories
Peanuts (a handful or 1 oz): 160 calories
Raw almonds (a handful or 1 oz): 165 calories
Low-fat yogurt (6 oz): 175 calories
Tortilla chips (12 chips or 1 oz) with salsa (1/2 cup): 175 calories
Whole wheat Ritz crackers (10 crackers or 1 oz) with peanut butter (1/2 Tbsp): 175 calories

  


Listen to your gut.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

The real story behind hunger pangs-straight from the source.

Hey, you, up there. Can we talk? I know you donít expect to hear from me except around mealtimes or after youíve had Mexican food, but thereís a lot about me you donít know. You think Iím a troublemaker who sabotages your diet and makes you look bad in a two-piece. You think Iím an ingrate whoís always complaining: too full, too empty, too spicy, too many beans.

Ok, I see your point. And maybe all the growling doesnít help my image. But hear me out: I do more for you than you know. I work nonstop, 24 hours a day, with no breaks, and I usually pull a double on holidays. I kill bacteria lurking in you food to protect you from disease. And most important, I help convert the food into fuel for everything you do, from washing the dishes to running a marathon. So give me a little credit, why donít you, and cut out the pinching already. Thatís never going to make me any flatter.

Besides, those rolls you like to grab and call your ďBuddha bellyĒ arenít me. Iím high up in the abdomen, under the bottome of your rib cage, a little to the left. Iím also not as big as you think-only about 12 inches long and four to 10 inches wide when Iím empty. I can stretch to hold up to three liters of food-pretty impressive, right? Thatís why you need to unbutton your pants after stuffing yourself silly(ahem, need I remind you of the Super Bowl?). But donít go blaming me for your muffin top. Thatís fat padding your abdomen, not me sprading out.

Believe it or not, my size actually has nothing to do with yours: Belliesí dimensions are predetermined by genetics, and we donít grow in proportion to our owners. Thatís why some very svelte people can gulp down a lot of food without getting a gut. For instance, 98 pound Sonya Thomas, a competitive eater most famous for downing 39 hot dogs in 12 minutes, regularly defeats men four to five times her size. I sure donít envy her stomach.

So hereís what Iím doing while youíre tucking into a plate of ribs: The upper section of my bean-shaped body, or fundus, serves as a pantry, storing food until it travels through my central region, the corpus, to be processed by my lower half, or antrum. Thatís where all the actual work of digestion takes place. And it is work. I have to flex my muscles(yes, I do have them! They form the muscularis, the third layer of about five I have) in a rhythmic agitating motion, like a washing machine, to mix your food with acid and digestive juices that break it down into its basic components: proteins, sugars, and fats.

Itís a big job, but I have help from the 35 million acid-secreting glands in my lining. On a normal day, I produce two to three liters of gastric juices. Dropping all that acid(hey a little stomach humor!)doesnít just help with digestion; it also kills bacteria, protecting your from infection.

Normally, a healthy layer of mucus over my lining keeps me safe from the acidís harmful effects, but from time to time, you aggravate that layerówith a bacterial infection, or by popping aspirin like itís Pezóand acid can erode through. Too much of that kind of damage could mean --- gulp---an ulcer. Every stomachís worst nightmare.

Anyway, after Iíve churned the food into a nice, mushy mixture called chyme, I squeeze it every 20 seconds through the pyloric sphincter, a strong ring of smooth muscle at the end of my food-passing canal, into the duodenum, the first part of the small intestine. It typically takes me several hours to work through an entire meal and if itís really big or fatty, I have to put in overtime.

The only time I ever stop is when your brain releases the stress hormone cortisol. That ďfight-or-flightĒ response either shuts down digestion completely, making me feel full of butterflies, or speeds it up to the point that you feel sick. Thatís what stress will do to you, though.

When Iím completely empty, youíll feel those contractions as hunger pangs, which I jump-start by releasing ghrelin into your bloodstream. Your brain sends me signals to make me secrete this hormone, known as the ďhunger hormone.Ē You might hear those contractions tooóan empty stomach amplifies the rumbles. The other noises I make are just normal digestion. Iíll sound off for 10-20 minutes while Iím digesting food, and then again every one to two hours until you down your next meal. Sorry I donít always have the best timing (I forgot you had that big presentation at work last week). But Iím not alone in the noisemaking your small intestines get rowdy too; As food makes its way to the large intestine, it pushes air and liquid around in your bowels, and that causes all those gurgling sounds.

If you really want me to quiet down, steer clear of the break room on the Krispy Kreme days. Your brain releases ghrelin to tip me off the second you see or smell food, so I can get my juices flowing in preparation. And I especially like sugar. In fact, I have some of the same sweet-detecting proteins that are in your tongue. I use them to help regulate insulin production and appetite. I canít exactly ďtasteĒ sugar the same way your tongue does, but sweetness does make me rev up the release of hormones that make you feel happy.

And please remember: While you might notice the difference between diet and regular, I canít. Iíll react to artificial sweeteners as if theyíre the real thing; by wanting more. Thatís why every time you down a Diet Coke, you get a hankering for a brownie.

When you eat too much I definitely feel it. I try to help kickstart the release of leptin, the hormone that tells you youíre full and induces nausea. Itís my way of saying ďSTOP!Ē So give me a chance to say it before you wolf down seconds. A third of what you eat is processed in about 20 minutes, so if you take the time to chew and enjoy your meal, youíll push yourself away from the table before your overdo it. Thatís good because too many supersize meals can desensitize my stretch receptors, the ones that let your brain know Iím maxed out, and then itíll take a lot more food to make me feel full next time.

The good news is that unlike your boss, I respond well to sensitivity training. Eat smaller meals for a while, and Iíll get used to more reasonable portions again and feel full on less food. Just donít cut back too far. Iím no fan of being empty, and when you donít feed me enough, I have no choice but to let loose more ghrelin. That can send you running for the junk-food aisleóand neither of us wants that. Letís strike a bargain: Donít let me get empty and Iíll go easy on the ďFeed me, SeymourĒ dramatics. Just keep small, healthy meals coming throughout the day so I stay busy.

You can help by choosing foods that take me longer to digest. That includes protein: fish, chicken breast, lean beef, eggs and skim milk. Fiber-filled foods, especially those mixed with water, like brown rice and oatmeal, tend to stick around a while too. In a pinch, other carbs will do, though I generally go through them a lot faster. They subdue ghrelin, but only temporarilyóand when it bounces back itís with a vengeance, making you more ravenous than you were before you ate. Even worse is overloading on fats. They are the least efficient at suppressing ghrelin, so try to avoid giving me a whole lot of them on a regular basis, unless you want to hear me grumble about it.

Unfortunately, I stink at math, so itís up to you to count calories. Itís all the same to me whether you fill me up with French fries, or salad, because I react to volume, not density. I donít know how much fat is it those fries, but I do know they arenít going to keep me happy for as long, as say, some fresh fruit.

And while weíre on the subject, I know youíve been thinking about Alli, that over-the-counter diet aid. Well, let me make up your mind for you: Fat substitutes and fat-blockers, including olestra-filled foods like Wow potato chips and Alli go right through me. Mess with them and you may be able to finish War and Peach on the john. These products work by preventing enzymes from breaking-down fat, so it gets eliminated with other waste instead of ending up on your thighs. But urgent bowel movements, diarrhea, and gas with horrible oily spotting come with the territory. I think youíve got better things to do with your time.

Well thanks for listening. I think we make a pretty good team, you and I. Iíll keep expanding to meet your needs, sterilizing your grub, and churning it into your intestines, if you keep me full of protein and fiber, stop eating when Iím full and steer clear of fad diets. Maybe this year we can even enjoy swimsuit season together.

Oh, and if you donít mind grab a snack soon. Itís getting a little lonely down here.

  


Middle of the Night

Saturday, March 22, 2008

OK, it's 3:00 am and I'm on the computer! I haven't felt well since Wednesday and missed two days at the gym. I've been napping a lot, and it's affected my regular sleep patterns. Hopefully, I'll feel well enough(and rested enough) to go to the gym tomorrow morning. If not, I'll be back on track Monday 6am.

Some random thoughts:
What I realize is that I finally got past the "wanting" to lose weight phase and moved to the "do something good for yourself" phase. Always before I just wanted to lose weight. I hoped that just wanting it would make it happen. I thought I wasn't strong enough or good enough to actually do it. In fact, when I started I didn't really believe this time would be any different than the 30 or 40 other times I tried to lose weight. And you see there's another failure word; "tried" you can't try you have to do. So, where did the motivation come from? It started out that I was doing this for my husband, to help him control his type 2 diabetes by eating properly. But it didn't take long for my motivation to change and become about making me a better person. Learning to take control over food and win the battle, learning to love what my body could do physically in the gym or outside in the elements. I began to find daily joy in finding my strength. And as I realized my capabilities (and that they are endless) I began to set loftier goals, and plan farther into my future.

I think we all look for motivation from outside factors, getting in shape for a wedding, or reunion, fitting into a certain pair of jeans, etc. but those are all fleeting moments in our lives. Our motivation would wane if we got into the jeans or the wedding passed, but if it's about ourselves, and how amazing we can be, and finding that wonderment everyday, than we will sustain it to "infinity and beyond" as they say in Toy Story!

Do you have a design for change?

Do you have a desire to lose weight, have more children, or try a new career? If so, are you taking appropriate steps towards these desires? Often your wants turn into lip service, and because of that wishy-washy determination, you may never reach your goal. The reality of life is that we need to change something in order to get something. For example, you cannot lose weight and build a healthier body by eating what you are now and remaining at the same exercise level. Formulate a plan for success by breaking down your goal into several smaller steps to promote a more optimistic and realistic strategy!
This is one of the most frustrating things to me. So many people are going through the motions of being on SP, but insist on keeping old, unhealthy habits, or doing some other fad diet while logging in here daily. Why? You are wasting your time if you don't go "all in". We all know that what we did in the past didn't work. To refuse to give up those old bad habits is just continuing on the same path, one of losing a few pounds, then regaining them. Recently when I was asked again "how did you do it", when I explained that strength training was such a vital element in the process, the person responded with this jaw-dropper: "my trainer told me to concentrate on cardio, since when you quit strength training your muscle turns to fat". WHAT? I mean that's just wrong on so many levels. First, the person shouldn't be thinking of ever stopping weight training, second what trainer encourages that, third, what kind of certification does this person have that they think it's even possible for muscle/fat to be "changed" back and forth?

Plant seeds of expectation in your mind; cultivate thoughts that anticipate achievement. Believe in yourself as being capable of overcoming all obstacles and weaknesses.

- Norman Vincent Peale



Growing your inner garden

In order to grow anything in a garden, a lot of factors must come into play--properly planting the seeds or flowers into the soil, watering, weeding, fertilizing, and ensuring adequate sunlight. Are you tending to your own goals in the same fashion? Getting that new job takes determination and positive vision to make that dream a reality. Do you believe in your abilities? Believing is a wonderful, powerful tool but it takes more than that. You've got to fight the elements, take good care of yourself, and dig down deep for courage in order for your seeds to be cultivated into success.


  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TRECECOOKS 3/25/2008 10:58AM

    I hope you are feeling better by now!

Your blog was awesome. I, too am frustrated by folks who want to do what they want and still expect to lose weight. I know I have struggled to find what works for me, but I believe that I've made changes since day 1, and I'll just Keep Moving Forward.

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EGR2BEME 3/23/2008 9:39AM

    So grateful for your middle of the night blog! I try to blame my age...but you are living proof that we can do this - even in our 50s. Thank you! Ellen

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KIMANDTONY 3/22/2008 10:17PM

    I am so ready to be at the end of this journey. I know it doesn't end there. I know it is just as much work to maintain, but I don't feel scared about getting there. I know I can do it once I have reached my goal. Now I am just excited to see what size I will be when I reach the end. I have never been a normal size so this is all new to me.
Kim

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CYNTHIANICH 3/22/2008 9:48AM

    I can not wait until I reach where you are at in your life....
I love to read your blog's, You will never know how much you have been a help to me...
may God bless you and Have a Good Easter
Cynthia



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Slow the effects of aging

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

People who exercise consistently may see slower age-related weight gain, reports a study from the American Heart Association Scientific Sessions. Sujbects wh did 30 minutes per day of vigorous activity were more than twice as likely as semi-sedentary subjects to have maintained their BMI after 20 years. Active folks who did bulk up gained 14 fewer pounds than slackers. Regular workouts may signal a healthy lifestyle, says a lead researcher Arlene Hankinson, MD. Exercise daily at 70-85% of your target heart rate (220-your age).

Insta-Motivation:
It's not always your brain's fault that you find yourself back in the locker room before you've completed your planned workout. Sometimes you just wuss out. Whisper these sweet nothing to yourself when you want to quit, but know there's still gas in the tank. Add them to your mental arsenal during your next workout.
"I am strong beyond belief. I am powerful beyond measure."
"I never regret it when I do it. But I always regret it when I don't".
"Can I get some fries with that shake-shake booty? If looks could kill you would be an Uzi." (lyrics from "Shoop," by Salt-N-Pepa)
"Thin, Strong, lean, long...thin, strong, lean, long..."
"This is not the hardest thing I've ever done."
"Grag it! It's Yours!"
"Beat, BEat, Beat, Beat, Fast little feet feet."
"Don't Judgeit, Just do it."
"Kill...Kill...Kill, The. Hill."(You say the words to match your feet hitting the ground and it creates rhythm for you to fall into. A little violent but it works.)
"KMF:Keep Moving Forward"
"If you don't focus on your ass, no one else will."
"A strong outside strengthens the inside."
"Push the stress out!"

It's not always your brain's fault that you find yourself back in the locker room before you've completed your planned workout. Sometimes you just wuss out. Whisper these sweet nothing to yourself when you want to quit, but know there's still gas in the tank. Add them to your mental arsenal during your next workout.


Wednesday's workout:
single arm DB bent over row 1 10 25#
single arm DB bent over row 1 4 20#
single arm DB bent over row 1 6 15#
single arm DB bent over row 1 10 15#
single arm DB bent over row 1 10 25#
single arm DB bent over row 1 4 20#
single arm DB bent over row 1 6 15#
single arm DB bent over row 1 10 15#
lat pulldown 3 10 70#
seated row 3 15 70#
incline dumbbell curl 1 10 20#
incline dumbbell curl 1 6 20 #
incline dumbbell curl 1 4 15 #
incline dumbbell curl 1 4 20#
incline dumbbell curl 1 6 15#
low cable bicep curl 2 10 55#
preacher curls 3 15 25#
back extension machine 3 15 95#
(Today was supposed to be "leg" day, but my knee was way to sore to push it after umpiring yesterday. So, I flip-flopped with Friday's back/bi's workout.)

57 minute spinning class 401 calories burned

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TRECECOOKS 3/19/2008 9:54PM

    I like the "insta-motivation" quotes; I'll be using some of them, I am sure!!

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