Friday, May 30, 2008
Would you believe too much variety in your diet can actually hurt you? It's true. It's a somewhat uniquely American problem, too.
When people are given access to a variety of food, they tend to eat more. They did a study with jelly beans, and those offered a variety of jelly beans ate more than those offered only one kind.
We want to try everything. I know it's certainly true for me: if I find a couple of new flavors of a favorite protein bar, I'll buy them, but when I get home, I want to try all the flavors!
You do need to eat a wide variety of fruits and vegetables. But when it comes to snacks and treats, you're better off limiting yourself.
Thursday, May 29, 2008
Losing weight is a simple equation, isn't it?
Burn more calores than you take in = weight loss
Or is it?
I read about a study recently, I forget where. Anyway, they fed a group of people 1000 extra calories a day. I don't think exercise was mentioned, but I don't remember. Guess what? They gained different amounts of weight, I mean, a wide variance among the group.
Nothing's simple when it comes to weight loss!
Exercise is a very important component of weight loss. You *will* lose more if you move more. And exercise alone won't contorl your weight. I have a acquaintance who started doing those walk for the cure races -- the ones where you go 60 miles in 3 days. Lots & lots of training and walking. Yet she was still overweight.
You have to couple exercise with food awareness. You could, for instance, meet your daily minimum calories by only drinking coke all day. I bet you'd be really wired and hungry, but you could do it. Chances are you'd totally pig out at some point because you miss actually chewing your food, not to mention all that sweetness would set you up for craving even more sweets. Yes, that's a very extreme example.
But let's say you eat good for breakfast and lunch, but make bad choices at dinner -- yet are still within your calorie ranch. You think great -- I can pig out at one meal and still do this. Chances are, eventually that kind of eating is going to catch up with you. We're not naturally thin people, or we wouldn't be here.
To lose weight we have to make wise decisions for the majority of what we put in our mouths. That doesn't mean you can't eat your favorite foods, but it does mean you need to look for ways to lighten them up, keep them in moderation, or find healthy substitutes that actually satisfy you.
Satisfaction is the key to weight loss. You might think a box of cookies is satisfying in the moment, but you know you'll feel sick and guilty afterwards. But an apple plus 1 or 2 cookies might be satisfying.
And if you fill up on healthy foods first, you may find yourself not craving unhealthy foods as much. Because you'll already feel satisfied.
Sometimes it takes me a while to get to my point, but yes, I do believe that satisfaction is the key to weight loss.
Wednesday, May 28, 2008
I did go to my WW meeting last weekend. And I was quite surprised that I'd lost almost 1 pound! 1 pound in 1 week is huge for me, although I know many get frustrated with that small amount. But I celebrate it. Any move down is a move in the right direction.
I've struggled a bit with the decision of whether or not to weigh in again this week. Now you don't have to weigh in every week; they give you a no-weigh pass, which is something they didn't have back when I was still active. Which is great!
I will go to weekly meetings. But I don't want to weigh in every week. Weight fluctuates too much, and it can be really depressing when it doesn't go down or especially when it goes up. Although I did feel like I'd lost weight last week, and also felt that I'd eaten particularly well, I still didn't expect much of a loss.
I personally find that by really paying attention to what I'm eating and why, and just simply writing down what I eat, plus measuring and judgining by how my clothes fit, I can get a fairly accurate view of how I'm doing. But sometimes the scale doesn't reflect that. But for me, it's not about a number on a scale (even though that number still holds a lot of power), it's about how I feel and how I feel when I look at myself. And I pay a lot more attention to how I feel when I don't know what the scale says, personally.
I am also going to try several different meetings. I didn't feel a real connection with the leader in the one I tried. And there's no reason to go to a meeting when you don't feel a connection with a leader, unless you have no other meetings available to you. So I'm shopping for a new leader.
And I hadn't even begun to record points last week!
Tuesday, May 27, 2008
For those who never saw the movie, it was about doing three nice things for people: people you love, or just people off the street. With no expectations of being paid back, just putting it out there. To see what happens. How the world might change.
Today's "Healthy Reflections" from SP had this quote:
"Great opportunities to help others seldom come, but small ones surround us every day."
- Sally Koch
It's amazing how doing something nice for someone, with no agenda, can change both your mood *and* the mood of the recipient. It's called karma, folks; what goes around, comes around.
Oddly enough, it isn't always easy to do the right thing. Other than this blog, and my personal blog about my animals, I also journal. Most days. Yup, that's actually sitting down and writing my thoughts out. It's a combo-journal, too: I do stream of consciousness writing, where I just put pen to paper; I write down 3 things that I'm grateful for each day; I write down 10 things I want out of life, both big & small; and I also write 5 nice things I did that day. Guess which one is the hardest one to do?
Granted, at the moment I'm living by myself. I don't work. I'm not a total shut-in, I do agility with the dogs, I walk the dogs every day, I volunteer at a friend's small cat rescue, I grocery shop, I attend Weight Watchers meetings.
Still, it's often hard to come up with 5 nice things I've done in any one day! Some things repeat themselves over and over. And once in a while I do something cool. When I was in San Jose several months ago, I came across a woman attending to her colony of feral/stray cats. I gave her $20. My husband would probably never do that; he wants a receipt so that he can write off his donation. But I know how hard it can be to manage a feral colony -- they depend on you every day for food, whether the weather is good or not, it's a holiday or not, and perfect strangers rarely come up to you and just hand you money. I didn't do it to have something to write down or to get something back, it just felt right to me.
We get so caught up in ourselves in our weight loss journey. So worried about what we ate, what we didn't eat, how much we exercised, how we compare to the body next to us. It's funny how we forget about food altogether when we do something nice for someone else.
How many nice things did you do today, big or small? What will you do tomorrow? Care to share?
Monday, May 26, 2008
Are you by yourself this holiday? Maybe missing loved ones, or wondering why no one seems to love you?
You do have to love yourself first. People are drawn to others who are happy in their skin like moths to a flame. Doesn't matter what size they are, either.
I know, I know; you're thinking how can you love yourself when you're so fat, so lazy, so out of control, so __________ (fill in the blank). But you're not, you know. You're taking control of your life, one baby step at a time. Congratulate yourself. Celebrate every success, no matter how tiny.
And if you're alone today, please don't use that as an excuse to turn to food for comfort. We all know where that gets us. Log on here! Ok, so you did that already if you're reading this. But keep going. Read some articles. Comment on other people's blogs, even if it's only to say good job -- you know how much you appreciate it when someone compliments you; spread it around. Take a look at the message boards. Join a sparkteam. Give someone a sparkgoodie, even a total stranger.
Once you're off, go for a walk. Maybe watch a parade. Pray for our armed forces. Watch a movie. Read a book.
Whether you're with loved ones or not today, you are not alone. And you are stronger than you ever thought. Make today -- and every day -- a great day!
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