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WILLBOYWONDER's Recent Blog Entries

March Is National Kidney Month

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Now that March is well under way, this is a good time to talk about kidney disease. Kidney disease can strike anyone at any time, even people who have seemingly healthy lives. Did you know that most people who have impaired kidneys don’t even know it? The symptoms include, lethargy, shortness of breath, swollen glands, bloody urine, frequent urination or inability to urinate. Kidney disease is another one of the many silent killers; oftentimes, much of the damage is done long before there are any visible signs. When you do see overt symptoms, you’re already at risk of kidney failure.

March is National Kidney Month, and the 12th of March is World Kidney Day. I urge you to get your kidneys screened. The National Kidney Foundation has a program it calls KEEP, or Kidney Early Evaluation Program. On World Kidney day, you can get a free KEEP screening in select cities around the United States.

Early detection is key, and the only way to know for sure is from proper a screening. For more information about the KEEP program and to find a screening center near you, visit the National Kidney Foundation’s Web site at the link below. Take care of your kidney so they will take care of you.


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LIVINHEALTHY9 3/5/2009 8:52PM

    oops, it double posted my comment. Sorry about that.

Comment edited on: 3/5/2009 8:53:06 PM

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LIVINHEALTHY9 3/5/2009 8:51PM

    Thanks for this useful information, Will
I didn't know March was National Kidney Month.
I also didn't think much about having a kidney screening but I will now.


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    Thanks for the information. I am always afraid of kidney disease because I am diabetic. so is hubby. Have a great day.

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DEEANN8 3/5/2009 9:43AM

    Thanks for the info.

I guess I've never given it much thought... and that's sad since my father's kidneys killed him at the age of 35.

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Do Others Ever Impede Your Progress?

Monday, March 02, 2009

When you begin your quest to live a healthier lifestyle by losing weight, you might get some opposition from those around you – sometimes from the people you least expect. Family and friends alike may notoriously say things that can be discouraging. Some of them may tell you that you’re going to fail again just like you failed the last several times you tried to lose weight. Other people might tell you that you’ve already lost too much weight and that you need to eat more because you’ve gotten too thin.

People say these discouraging things, although they probably mean well and have innocent intent; however, well-meaning or not (and innocent or not), those comments can cut like a knife and may cause you to feel stressed. Consequently, this can get in the way of your progress if you let it. Don’t allow the remarks and sentiments of other people to affect you and your progress. Focus on your goals, remain steadfast on your plan, and refuse to be affected by the opinions of others.

You can achieve your goals only if you tune out anyone or anything that does not support your agenda.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

FUNNYSUNNY123 3/19/2009 3:51PM

    I don't think friends and family impede me. I think I impede myself. Nobody forces me to eat a bag (a snack bag, but still over 300 calories) of Fritos. And if I listen to the negative self talk radio that's going on in my head half the time...well, I might as well hang up my Nikes and crawl back in bed.

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SUSANLUSAN 3/4/2009 11:03AM

    Good points all. Some people require more translation than others to have it come out positive. Take the back handed compliment, ditch the back hand and leave the compliment, if possible. Some sadly don't mean it to be positive to begin with. Those interactions may need to be edited out completely with some variety of the ol' "la la la... not hearing you" approach.

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SOME_SCRIBBLER 3/3/2009 3:34PM

    So true. Family and friends are usually a big impediment for me. They either tell me that I'm getting too thin (which completely messes with my body image when I truly want to tone up and lose a few pounds) or chide me for being too heavy. I've learned that I need to listen to me and me alone. Great post.

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BEEHAPPY2 3/3/2009 3:25PM

    Will-Thank you so much for the encouraging goodie and blog! This was just what I needed to hear as it has been a problem for me for years. I am getting better at brushing off negative comments from family and friends but it is still painful. The negative voice inside my head is getting much quieter these days as I have finally realized that I am getting healthier to please myself, no one else. Thanks a bunch Will for all the advice and support you give us on SP! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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DEEANN8 3/3/2009 9:51AM

    I think one of the things I hate the most -- is them saying/thinking that I choose my food based on 'being on a diet' They just can't understand that someone can choose foods to be healthy (and b/c they actually TASTE good). I guess they can't imagine someone eating a salad or fresh fruits and vegis unless they're 'on a diet'

It's so sad; they don't even know what they're missing out on.

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LIVINHEALTHY9 3/2/2009 9:11PM

    Luckily, I have not experienced this issue.
I empathize with those that do. It's hard to make major changes and then to have some try to impede that, is just so wrong.

To those going through that I say, stay strong. You are doing great things, don't let the negative comments bring you down.

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PAMELA984 3/2/2009 2:40PM

    Thanks - I needed to hear this today. I have often thought that some people were actually a little bit envious because they have not been as successful.

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Workout At Home

Monday, February 23, 2009

Finding time for your fitness, health, and exercise program can be difficult even for the disciplined person, and if you are an intermediate or novice, it can be even more of a challenge. For those of you who are like many people juggling a part or full-time job, college classes, a spouse, kids, or more broadly the demands of life, getting to a gym regularly is not an option. You look in the mirror and wonder how someone like you is supposed to maintain a regular exercise program. The answer is by starting a home gym.

Okay, I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking that it must be expensive. Well, it definitely can be expensive; however, it doesn’t have to be. There are several effective and low cost pieces of equipment you can get to help you get a great work out at home.

1) Hand weights, whether steel or neoprene weights (those with a synthetic rubber covering) can be purchased individually or in sets in various dimensions such as 2lbs, 5lbs, 10lbs, on up. They are available beginning around $10-$15.

2) A medicine ball – also called a weighted ball or fitness ball – strengthens your core muscles. These can cost between $10-$20.

3) Hand grips strengthen the muscles in the hand and may be purchased for as little as $5.

4) The Sparkpeople.com Starter Kit is an ideal purchase for your home gym. It includes a stability ball with pump, a resistance band, a pedometer, and a workout DVD, led by Sparkpeople.com’s Coach Nicole.

(Photo from Sparkpeople.com)

This kit is a great bargain. I bought each of the items separately before the kit was available and I paid nearly twice as much. This kit costs $24.95, and one of the neat features is that you can click a link to have it added to your Amazon.com wish list.

There are many other things you can add to your home gym, but these things I have suggested will give you a great bang for your buck without spending a ton of cash. You can get all of them for less than $100. I think that’s a great deal. So, renew your resolution to lose weight and get into shape and get yourself some things so you can workout at home. Believe me, it won’t take long before you will see results.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TWICETHEMAN 2/25/2009 1:05PM

    Great points, I have some equipment I use when I can not make it to the gym. Dumbbells can be used for so much, I got a pair of adjustable weight one.

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LIVINHEALTHY9 2/23/2009 10:40PM

    Another informative blog.
Thanks Will.

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ITISSPARKTIME 2/23/2009 10:14PM

    This is a great post. There are many times I don't make it to the gym. I have a stability ball, free weights, yoga mat & resistance bands to make it easier to get my workout in. It is especially easy with the SP videos available. There are times I do not have the energy to go to the gym but as I wind down for the night I will be watching tv and get the urge to work out. Now I can. Thanks for the post!

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TABBALOOSA 2/23/2009 7:17PM

    Great, practical advice - as usual! emoticon

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DEEANN8 2/23/2009 5:28PM

    Great info as usual. And I have that equipment (boutght separately) so I can confirm that is a good price.

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BEEHAPPY2 2/23/2009 2:58PM

    Thanks Will! I did buy the SP starter kit and am looking forward to using it at home. I also belong to a gym because I love to swim and have been tryin to use the circuit machines and bike/treadmill more often. You always give us good advice! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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PAMELA984 2/23/2009 1:37PM

    Great blog - too many people think they can't afford to do this at home - but they can if they want to - at a relatively inexpensive cost

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Tuesday, February 10, 2009

I know you usually see the phrase “Go Green” these days, but I thought I would talk about something different with Valentine’s Day approaching. People are focused on chocolate, which is fine in moderation. But if you are like most people, it’s not that easy eating rich, delicious chocolate in moderation.

So, I decided to talk about some delicious red foods you can incorporate into your diets, providing the health benefits of each. With a little imagination, you can really do a lot with them. But for now, this is just a primer on the benefits of some of my favorite red fruits and vegetables:

Strawberries – contain high levels vitamin C, are plentiful in antioxidants that help to fight various types of cancers, and small amounts of vitamin K, potassium, riboflavin, vitamin B5, vitamin B6, copper, magnesium, and trace amounts of omega-3 fatty acids.

Beets – contain cancer prevention agents and are full of iron. In addition, beets are rich in sodium, magnesium, calcium, iron and phosperous. Beets are also a great source of fiber and also contain vitamins A and C.

Watermelon – is full of beta carotene, which helps fight against heart disease, cancer, and other health conditions. Watermelon is particularly helpful in fighting breast cancer, colon cancer, prostate cancer, and provides excellent protection against strokes as well as reduces the risk of developing kidney stones.

Red Swiss Chard – is a member of the beet family and provides many of the same benefits as eating beets. It is full of fiber, low in calories, and rich in calcium, vitamin A, vitamin C, and potassium.

Raspberries – like other red vegetables and fruits provide an excellent barrier to cancer causing agents. They are rich in vitamin C, iron, and potassium.

Red Carrots – are one of those things that most people don’t know about. Carrots actually come in six different colors (orange, red, black, purple, black, and white), though most of them are difficult to find. With a little effort, you should be able to find the red carrots in specialty markets or at a local farm. These carrots help to protect against cancers, have strong regenerative effects. If you'd like to see how these different colored carrots might look, look at this Web site: www.healthmad.com/Nutrition/S

Tomatoes – have compounds that help prevent cancer, cataracts, heart disease, and help fight cardio vascular disease. They also are rich in vitamins A and C as well as potassium.

Of course this is just a sampling. There are plenty of other wonderful red fruits and vegetables. Take some time and look around the produce section the next time you go shopping. You might be surprised at what you find.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MADANNIE71 2/15/2009 11:14AM

    What a great thought, Will!! And although it's the day after Valentine's Day, I've been eating tomatoes and beets like mad. Have to look for the carrots.

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NELSON071 2/12/2009 11:05PM

    wow! You are the bomb! I have been eating a lot of red lately and sure will treat myself to more on V day. Happy Red Day to you and thanks for this beautiful post. Hey, we needs chocolate any way, when we can still celebrate the holiday and be healthy at the same time. Thanks so much. your sp friend, jurline... emoticon emoticon emoticon

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DEEANN8 2/12/2009 8:58AM

    What a creative idea!! and I've never seen anything but orange carrots -- interesting. I find it totally amazing how many foods there are in this world -- most of which I've never heard of, let a lone, seen.

Have a great Valentine's emoticon Day !

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TABBALOOSA 2/11/2009 9:44PM

    Hey, thanks for reminding me about beets. I sort of forgot about them, hehe. Fun approach to Valentine's Day!

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LIVINHEALTHY9 2/10/2009 10:40PM

    Good suggestions, Will

But I may still have to eat a little piece of chocolate. I will just keep saying to myself " in moderation".


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Maintaining Your Target Weight

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

So, you’ve reached your desired weight. That’s awesome. Congratulations. It was tough, but you finally made it, and I know you are very proud of yourself. Now, your goal is to maintain where you are. Here are some simple steps to help guide you.

First, don’t make huge changes. Your body has become accustomed to your healthy lifestyle. Now that you have shed the extra pounds, don’t go back to your old bad habits. The strategies you have put into place these past weeks or months or years are strategies that you must continue.

Second, keep up with your exercise routine. The exercise will help keep your heart rate up, which in turn will keep the fire under your metabolism and help keep the fat off.

Third, be sure to weigh yourself regularly. The funny thing about weight is you can put on extra pounds without realizing it. Pay attention to your body and make adjustments as necessary if you see the number rise on the scale. It’s not as frustrating if you catch it in time.

Fourth and most importantly, figure out what works for you. Some people eat three square meals per day while others have 4 – 6 mini meals throughout the day. There is no magical technique that works for everybody. You do what is unique to you and your body.

Remember: the strategies you used to take off the weight are the same things you’ll need to do to keep it off. With a little commitment, dedication, and some sacrifice, you can maintain a healthy weight for the rest of your life no what your age and regardless how long you may live.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DEBBIEKAY1 7/31/2009 2:59PM

    I will be coming back often to re read this when I reach goal!

Thank you! AWESOME BLOG!

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LIVNFITNHAPPY 7/31/2009 11:14AM

    Terrific Blog! I am moving into the uncharted territory of MAINTENANCE!
It is a little scary but this time I have a lot more "tools" at my disposal and the Wonderful support of all my friends here at Spark People! Thank you for being one of them!!!


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MARYANNE4403 7/30/2009 7:39PM

    AWESOME advice, thanks so much for sharing it with us

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TEACHINGAGAIN 7/30/2009 6:53PM

    After reading a DailySpark blog about the Oprah Winnfrey show featuring Christie Alley and how she's put her weight back on, I thought again about this article you wrote. I intend to refer back to it when I reach my goal weight and follow your advice.
I also commented on that blog and told people they should read this. I also blogged myself today and referred people to come and read this blog, so don't be surprised if a few more people read it and make comments.

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TEACHINGAGAIN 3/17/2009 8:40PM

    I have a long ways to go until I reach my target weight, but this blog is one I want/need to remember! I have typed it up as a word document and am putting it into my files to refer back to later. This is good common sense which is so often forgotten about when one's diet "is over"! No wonder you were nominated as a Spark Motivator! I've been going back through your blogs and they are all very good.

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LIVINHEALTHY9 2/3/2009 10:17PM

    Good advice, Will
Maintaining takes as much diligence as losing. I know from personal experience.
I have kept up my workouts but I have gotten a little lax on my eating habits.
I just need to refocus and figure out what is making me want to stray into dangerous territory.
I will get a handle on it.
Thanks for the timely post on this subject.


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DEEANN8 2/3/2009 10:23AM

    Good advice - can't wait till I'm ready for it emoticon

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TWICETHEMAN 2/3/2009 9:14AM

    Sage Advice, can't wait until I hit maintaining.

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