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Countdown to the Challenge - Assignment #3

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

I've never done so many blogs in a week in my life! Here is the assignment:

Today's assignment is to list all the reasons you want to lose weight. What do you want to change? How do you want to look? How do you want to feel? What things will you be able to do in the future with a slimmer healthier body? And list all the OTHER things that you want to change!

I mainly want to lose weight for my health, specifically for the health of my knees. My rheumatologist says that for every 4 pounds that I lose, it will take 40 pounds off of my knees and then they'll hurt less and that's very important to me.

Having sore knees is one of my major challenges and sometimes obstacles to getting the exercise that I know I need to do in order to lose weight. And, I actually like exercising but when it hurts, I don't do it. And, that's a problem.

I know that losing weight will also be better for me for other health reasons, too. Although, my family doctor says I'm basically pretty healthy other than the arthritis and the overweight thing.

It would be nice to be able to shop at any store for clothes instead of always having to shop at Pennington's or Addition-Elle, two plus size clothing stores near me.

I bought two pairs of jeans two years ago in one size smaller than I am currently and I still can't fit into them so fitting into them this year would be great! I also have a couple of skirts that are too small that I'd like to fit into.

I think that it would be easier to move about if I was thinner. It would be nice to be able to play physical games with my nieces and nephews instead of just board games all the time even though I really like board games best over physical games. emoticon

I also wish I was a bit slimmer so that I would be more comfortable in theatre seats, airplane seats, some restaurant seats, etc.

If I ever get to my goal weight, each of my 4 sisters and my dad have said they will buy me a new outfit! Of course, they said this in 1998 when I first started trying to lose. And, I did lose 70 pounds initially but then I gained back 30 pounds when I was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis! So, we'll see.

Anyway, that's all I can think of for now. I suppose I can always edit it if I think of anything else.


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GADGETGEEK 9/25/2011 11:25AM

    Hey there, you can do it! We'll encourage each other, especially since we both share that one main goal, fighting RA! emoticon

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ZEESPARROW 9/20/2011 8:26AM


Just imagine how great you'll look in those jeans and skirts! I have a pair of jeans that are too small for me now, but they are sitting on my dresser as a daily reminder of my goal.

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5% 2011 Fall Challenge Commitment

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Exercise - I promise to exercise for at least 30 minutes 3 times a week, which will include exercise DVDs incorporating strength-training and cardio and lunchtime walks.

Food - I promise to eat following the Weight Watchers Points Plus system and I will eat within my points for a minimum of 6 days a week every week.

I also promise to drink at least 6 cups of water every day that I'm not traveling or in meetings (for obvious reasons). Traveling shouldn't be a problem as I have no plans to go anywhere but I do have 4 scheduled meetings during this 8-week challenge and since I take the minutes, I need to be there for the duration of the meetings. But, I will bring my water bottle with me to the meeting and will drink as much as I can.

I promise to eat lots of fruits and veggies and minimise my bad fats/junk food.

I promise I will check in with my team daily and leave a comment on the Discussion Board a minimum of 4 times a week.

I promise that I will read and comment on team members' blogs when I have time.

I am committed to this challenge and I promise to do the best that I can and my hope is that I lose my 5% permanently!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

IBEES10 9/23/2011 6:43PM

    How do I join this challenge??? Ahhhh!!!! Good luck, I know you will do just great :).

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MARYLEE56 9/20/2011 6:33PM

    Love your goals!

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MTULLY 9/18/2011 1:29PM

    I am also in the 5% Challenge. You have a great plan. I can see you are in it to win it! We can do this!!!

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NIKI778 9/18/2011 11:22AM

    Great goals!!! I am also in the 5% challenge, YOU CAN DO IT!!!

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Nine Supplements to Avoid

Thursday, September 15, 2011

This article is in Arthritis Today and since the first two supplements claim to be anti-inflammatory, I thought I should share it with others:


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BKWERM 9/16/2011 12:26PM

    I provided the link in a blog rather than just on our team so that it would reach more people. But, I suppose I could post the link on our team as well.

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_LINDA 9/16/2011 12:23PM

    Why not provide these links on the RA team? I had never heard of some of these supplements...

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Eight Ways to Boost Weight Loss (from the Chatelaine website)

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Have your weight-loss efforts hit a wall? These tips will help you figure out why you've hit a plateau, and what you can do to move past it.

By Dr. Natasha Turner ND Thu Aug 25 2011

When we change our diet, cut our calories and begin a fitness plan, we typically alter our energy expenditure by taking in fewer calories than we burn. At first, this imbalance helps fat loss because it makes the body tap into fat stores for fuel. Our body prefers balance, though, so it gradually adjusts to our changes by burning fewer calories in order to protect its fat reserves. This is usually when we stop seeing the same results, and hit a weight-loss plateau.

A weight-loss plateau may occur because:

- Your body simply needs a "rest" period to adapt to calorie reduction.

- Your current calorie intake may be in balance with your calorie expenditure.

- You have reduced your calorie intake by too much. Excess calorie cutting prompts your body to respond by slowing down your metabolism in order to conserve calories. You're also at risk of losing muscle with excessive caloric restriction.

- During weight loss, water is generated in the body as a normal part of fat metabolism. This process can lead to water-related weight gain.

- A hormonal imbalance is interfering with your body's ability to burn fat.

- For women, fluctuations of a few pounds may also be related to their menstrual cycle or water retention.

What can you do to break through a plateau?

The two most important steps in getting your weight loss moving again are altering your eating habits, and changing your exercise program to challenge your body and shake things up. You must also honestly evaluate your lifestyle and any negative symptoms you may be experiencing to determine why you've hit a plateau.

Here are a few ideas to help you power past a weight-loss stall:

1. Take tyrosine to boost your dopamine: Tyrosine is an amino acid a building block of dopamine and thyroid hormones in the body - and a supplement available at most health-food stores. It takes four weeks to reach its full effectiveness; sometimes starting this at the beginning of a weight-loss program is a good idea since studies show levels of dopamine decrease after a few weeks. As a brain chemical, dopamine influences pleasure, alertness, learning, creativity, attention and concentration -- and naturally suppresses appetite and aids weight loss.

The trouble is, as you lose weight, dopamine (your fat-loss friend) tends to take a dip. It's just one of the ways your body works against you by attempting to maintain the status quo. But you can wake up your metabolism by supplementing with 1,000 mg of tyrosine each morning on an empty stomach. Since tyrosine increases the production of both dopamine and thyroid hormone, it could give you just the boost you need to push past your plateau.

2. Mix up your workout: Fire up your metabolism (and calorie expenditure) by increasing your activity level. This simple step can "reboot" your metabolism and restart your weight loss. For example, if you usually exercise for 20 minutes each day, try 25-30 minutes daily. If you are already exercising for a sufficient length of time, increase the intensity. Do 15-20 minutes of interval training instead of 30 minutes at a slower pace. Varying your workout routine can also help.

3. Try cardio first thing in the morning on an empty stomach: If you can manage it, try doing a 30-minute cardio workout (no longer!) first thing in the morning before breakfast. Why? In some cases, this technique may be just the trick your body needs to kick-start your metabolism.

4. Pump some iron: Remember, muscle is metabolically active tissue. Muscle mass determines our basal metabolic rate (i.e., the number of calories we burn daily while at rest). The more muscle we have, the more fat we can potentially burn, even while sitting around or sleeping. If your fat loss continues to stall, boost the intensity of your strength-training routine by increasing the amount of weight you lift. A personal trainer may be an excellent investment at this point, even for just a few sessions to get you back in gear.

5. Be sure to rest and recuperate: Recovery is an essential part of your exercise program. Proper rest allows your muscle fibres to grow and prevents the elevation of cortisol and other stress hormones that can happen when we over-train. Track your resting heart rate immediately after you wake up for about a week or two. An increase from one week to the next could be a sign of overtraining. Remember, excess cortisol tears down the muscle tissue you've worked so hard to gain, which will ultimately cause your metabolism to slow down.

6. Keep a food diary: If you feel your nutrition is off track but can't figure out where you're going wrong, try keeping a food journal. You may start to recognize dietary saboteurs, which can help you get back on track. Have a professional nutritionist or naturopathic doctor assess your diet if necessary.

7. Ensure your weight loss expectations are realistic: Safe weight loss is one to two pounds of fat per week. During the first few weeks of a weight-loss program, you may lose more than that, although most of it is water. After losing this initial weight, people tend to lose an average of one pound a week, which is still considered good progress (even a few pounds a month is good).

8. Drink plenty of water: As fat cells begin to shrink, they release toxins that need to be removed from our system by our liver, kidneys and digestive tract. If we don't take in enough water to support these processes, the toxins may interact with our hormones and cause increased fat storage or inability to burn fat. Water can also help make us feel full and regulate our appetite, as many of us mistake thirst for hunger. To calculate how much water you need, multiply your body weight by 0.55. Divide the result by eight to determine the number of cups you need to drink each day.

~ Natasha Turner, N.D. is a naturopathic doctor and author of the bestselling books The Hormone Diet and her newest release, The Supercharged Hormone Diet, now available across Canada. She is also the founder of the Toronto-based Clear Medicine Wellness Boutique.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MOLLIEMAC 9/15/2011 3:33PM

    Thanks for sharing Joanna, some really excellent points made.

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Jack Layton's Final Letter Written to Canadians on His Death Bed

Sunday, September 04, 2011



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