Tuesday, January 15, 2013
This is a great way to stay safe when running or walking on snow or ice. Spikes like these only cost about $15.00 and the individual spikes are replaceable.
Monday, January 14, 2013
What is special about it is that it is my 15-year-old daughter's first blog and it is a topic that I'm passionate about (which got me an "honorable mention" in it).
But seriously, I'm proud of her. Here is what she wrote:
" My crazy nutrition views (warning, VERY long, lol)
So I've been eating wheat free for about 12 months, although only 100% for about 5 months.
Why? Yeah, I was wondering the same thing for the first 7 months, lol but it all started when my mom, who is a crazy, crazy, (but very well informed) health nut found out about this book called " Wheatbelly". As soon as she started explaining it to me, my first thought was: NOOO!!!!!!!!! Why? Because the author of the book, Dr. William Davis,(here's a link to the blog, if you're interested, www.wheatbellyblog.com/ ) does not recommend slightly reducing wheat consumption, but ELIMINATING ALL WHEAT PRODUCTS, even the so-called "healthy" whole wheat, *gasps in horror*. So not only is this an extremely controversial idea, it also seems when you look at it like it would be impossible to keep. Since pretty much 100% of any store bought processed food is made with it, and probably 60% of everything else readily available at the supermarket. That's just what I was thinking.
I really, really didn't want to believe this was true. but when my Mom lost the last 10 pounds she'd had for as long as I can remember, and she kept showing me the countless stories of success, not just with weight loss but a whole page of chronic problems that had gone away after people stopped eating wheat I had to wake up and smell the coffee. The horrible, nasty, painfully true coffee...
You've probably heard of the 5 stages of grief. That is, without a doubt, what I was going through when my Mom first introduced me to this new, strange, and terrifying lifestyle change.
The first stage is Denial. This wasn't hard, because my whole life I had been told that wheat (and other grains) were nutrition packed, and absolutely necessary for my health. "But whole wheat is good for me!!" I protested, plus, I didn't want to change. Croissant's. Baguettes. Rolls. Life without them? Unlivable. Barely a world worth living in. I went on with this for a while. I'm very committed - or stubborn. Whichever you choose.
The second stage is anger. Yes, I definitely went through this, I didn't go throwing things around but I sure wasn't too happy about my new realization. I went through several bouts of mild hysteria, and asking over and over, why? why? WHY?! It was almost worth crying over. I almost did.
The third is bargaining, I did that, too. "But just a tiiiny bit wouldn't hurt, would it? Just a little pizza or doughnut every few weeks?" and "I can't haveSOY SAUCE?! Why does it have to have to be in SOY SAUCE?! ( went back and forth between two and three for a while, sometimes both at once)
The forth stage. depression. Need I say more? It was all, "Why? What's the point of even eating at all? I might as well just lay in bed and wait to die." (if you haven't figured it out, I sometimes add just a touch of melodrama).
Acceptance. Finally, I had come to realize that, like many things, I may wish it different, but it's still not going to change the facts. It's bad for me. Really , really bad for me. *sighs*
So if you've read through all this, thank you. When I write about something that affects me personally, I tend to start what looks like a book, not a blog. I'm going to continue writing about this, but.. I think we're both a little tired at this point . "
For those of you who may be wondering what this is all about: click on the link above and find out or join us on the wheatbelly spark team.
Wednesday, January 09, 2013
It's been just over 3 weeks since my last MAF test. I did have a significant improvement.
Mile 1: 4.3 mph
Mile 2: 4.2 mph
Mile 3: 4.0 mph
average pace: 4.16, average heartrate 133
My body has clearly adjusted to the lower carb intake (currently between 15-30 grams/day) and I hope that I can start adding a weekly long run and one sprint workout per week now.
I only have 7 1/2 weeks left until my half-marathon so this will be interesting.
Sunday, January 06, 2013
Before all the Biggest Loser fans start hitting me over the head let me say this is not about Biggest Loser bashing at all, although sometimes this would be tempting.
As I have learned in the last year, many practices that people hear about on the Biggest Loser when it comes to diet I would seriously question, but it is hard to tell what is part of the ad for a diet food and what the contestants actually eat.
The show has appeal to a lot of people, and I have to admit that I still enjoy watching it, in particular now, that Jillian Michaels is back. We can legitimately question her kick-a$$ approach but I still get the sense that she cares about the contestants and will take care of them far better than some of the coaches in the last two seasons.
This is also not about the fact that many Biggest Loser contestants gain a lot of the weight back, this happens for the majority of people on most weight loss programs so this one is no exception but actually has better success rates than many.
Now to the real issue:
Is the Biggest Loser really mostly about losing weight? I am talking, just for the purpose of this blog post, about the results the contestants are getting, not the lifestyle changes they are making which are of course more important.
The weight loss numbers are often very large but what strikes me as just as important is the obvious huge gains in lean muscle mass. So while the numbers on the scales are advertised every week on the program, the gain in muscle mass is largely ignored until closer to the end of the season, when the increased muscle mass is becoming very obvious even to the casual observer. Even then it is not quantified on the show.
We all know, of course, that people on The Biggest Loser spend a lot of time exercising, probably at least 4-6 hours of some kind of physical activity on most days. This is the way to run a reality TV show and get results from one week to the next that will keep viewers entertained. And this is where the problem lies.
Many people now conclude that the weight loss goals on the show are attainable only for everyone who is willing to spend that much time exercising. THAT IS SOOO NOT TRUE. It only takes much more moderate exercise during the weight loss process, maximum of 1-2 hours of low-level cardio and some strength training with a little bit of sprinting thrown in for many, to get all the same benefits. Some people will even have to do a lot less when they first start out to prevent damage to their spine and joints.
But exercise is important. It is not just about burning calories but about all the other positive changes that occur in the body, most of them related to hormones that regulate sleep, energy levels, appetite and stress. Jillian Michaels herself made an effort to explain the basics of this in her book: "Master Your Metabolism". While some of what is in the book is now outdated by newer research the basics are still true: Exercise helps a lot to help our whole body function better. Building muscle, incl. healthy heart muscle, even at the level that is not visible for a long time under a lot of body fat, is a huge contributor to overall health, including both physical, emotional and mental health.
Therefore I want to argue that there is indeed a reason to watch very overweight people exercise. If all of the Biggest Loser viewers get out of their chairs even during the commercial breaks and move around a bit and do some exercise this can start good habits that continue on the other days of the week. We don't have to go for big numbers on the scale but be satisfied with the knowledge that our bodies are healing whenever we move.
So please join me tonight in checking out the show and seeing what they have changed. If they can make exercise fun for kids, then I'm excited about it, because this has the potential to change many lives for many years to come, if not then I may try to think of something more motivating to help the youngest of us who need positive examples.
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