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3/20/08 3:05 P

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Can Weight Gain Be “Contagious”?

We all know that friendship is a powerful thing, but now researchers have found that it can even affect our waistlines.

Research published in the New England Journal of Medicine suggests that obesity can actually “spread” from one friend to the next. Researchers from Harvard and the University of California, San Diego, found that if your friend becomes obese, your likelihood of becoming obese rises by 57%. If several mutual friends become obese, your risk jumps to 171%. Even friends who live hundreds of miles apart can have this type of “weighty” impact on each other. Experts theorize that this may be because, when we see a friend gain weight, it changes our perception of what’s acceptable for our own bodies.

The good news is that slimming down appears to be “contagious” too. Researchers noticed that people who were not obese were closely connected to other people with similar body weights.

So now you have another great reason to keep exercising regularly and eating right: It’s not only good for you but also for your friends.

article by eatbetteramerica.com

Often it is about getting out of the endless loop of thinking and getting into action.
VINCENT LOMBARDI



If you focus on results, you will never change. If you focus on change, you will get results.
JACK DIXON




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2/25/08 6:57 A

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A thought to think about as we weigh in this week.

Per the American Heart Association and National Health Institute "For safe and healthy weight loss, try not to exceed a rate of two pounds per week."

Per the Mayo Clinic:
Weight loss: 6 strategies for success
Make your weight-loss goals a reality. Follow these proven strategies.
You probably know that hundreds of different fad diets, weight-loss programs and outright scams promise quick and easy weight loss. But the foundation of every successful weight-loss program still remains a healthy diet combined with exercise. You must make permanent changes in your lifestyle and health habits to lose significant weight and keep it off.

How do you make those permanent changes? Follow these six strategies.

1. Make a commitment
Permanent weight loss takes time and effort. It requires focus and a lifelong commitment. Make sure that you're ready to make permanent changes and that you do so for the right reasons.

No one else can make you lose weight. In fact, external pressure — often from people closest to you — may make matters worse. You must undertake diet and exercise changes to please yourself.

As you're planning new weight-related lifestyle changes, try to resolve any other problems in your life. It takes a lot of mental and physical energy to change your habits. So make sure you aren't distracted by other major life issues, such as marital or financial problems. Timing is key to success. Ask yourself if you're ready to take on the challenges of serious weight loss.

2. Get emotional support
Only you can help yourself lose weight by taking responsibility for your own behavior. But that doesn't mean that you have to do everything alone. Seek support when needed from your partner, family and friends.

Pick people who you know want only the best for you and who will encourage you. Ideally, find people who will listen to your concerns and feelings, spend time exercising with you, and share the priority you've placed on developing a healthier lifestyle.

3. Set a realistic goal
When you're considering what to expect from your new eating and exercise plan, be realistic. Healthy weight loss occurs slowly and steadily. Aim to lose 1 to 2 pounds a week. To do this, you need to burn 500 to 1,000 calories more than you consume each day through a low-calorie diet and regular exercise. Losing weight more rapidly means losing water weight or muscle tissue, rather than fat.

Make your goals "process goals," such as exercising regularly, rather than "outcome goals," such as losing 50 pounds. Changing your process — your habits — is the key to weight loss. Make sure that your process goals are realistic, specific and measurable, for example, you'll walk for 30 minutes a day, five days a week.

4. Enjoy healthier foods
Adopting a new eating style that promotes weight loss must include lowering your total calorie intake. But decreasing calories need not mean giving up taste, satisfaction or even ease of meal preparation. One way you can lower your calorie intake is by eating more plant-based foods — fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Strive for variety to help you achieve your goals without giving up taste or nutrition. Cutting back on calories is easier if you focus on limiting fat.

To lose weight, talk to your doctor about setting these daily calorie goals:

Your current weight in pounds Daily calorie goal
Women Men
250 or less 1,200 1,400
251 to 300 1,400 1,600
301 or more 1,600 1,800

Very low calorie diets aren't a healthy long-term strategy. Fewer than 1,200 calories a day for women and 1,400 calories for men aren't generally recommended. If your calories are too low, you run the risk of not getting all of the nutrients you need for good health.

5. Get active, stay active
Dieting alone can help you lose weight. Cutting 250 calories from your daily diet can help you lose about half a pound a week: 3,500 calories equals 1 pound of fat. But add a 30-minute brisk walk four days a week, and you can double your rate of weight loss.

The goal of exercise for weight loss is to burn more calories, although exercise offers many other benefits as well. How many calories you burn depends on the frequency, duration and intensity of your activities. One of the best ways to lose body fat is through steady aerobic exercise — such as walking — for more than 30 minutes most days of the week.

Even though regularly scheduled aerobic exercise is best for losing fat, any extra movement helps burn calories. Lifestyle activities may be easier to fit into your day. Think about ways you can increase your physical activity throughout the day. For example, make several trips up and down stairs instead of using the elevator, or park at the far end of the lot.

6. Change your lifestyle
It's not enough to eat healthy foods and exercise for only a few weeks or even several months. You have to include these behaviors into your life. To do that, you have to change the behaviors that helped make you overweight in the first place. Lifestyle changes start with taking an honest look at your eating habits and daily routine.

After assessing your personal challenges to weight loss, try working out a strategy to gradually change habits and attitudes that have sabotaged your past efforts. Simply admitting your own challenges won't get you past them entirely. But it helps in planning how you'll deal with them and whether you're going to succeed in losing weight once and for all.

You likely will have an occasional setback. But instead of giving up entirely, simply start fresh the next day. Remember that you're planning to change your life. It won't happen all at once, but stick to your healthy lifestyle and the results will be worth it.



"I'm gonna love myself more than anyone else. I Believe in me. I'm gonna be my own best friend, stick with me till the end , won't lose myself again. Stronger woman - I AM! ~ Miranna
Start Date: 1/7/08 GW: 123.0 lbs SW: 242.0 lbs CW: 218.0 lbs
Loss to date: 24.0 lbs.
BL#5: 6/1 - 7/28: Goal 199 lbs/ 219 lbs/215.5lbs
Summer Meltdown: 6/1- 9/1: Goal 190 lbs/219 lbs/215.5lbs


 current weight: 218.2 
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2/24/08 10:17 P

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Team Synergy: Do you eat brown rice or white rice? Do you know how important brown rice is in a healthy lifestyle. I sure didn't! I will be making the switch immediatly. Wow, that is all I can say.

Brown rice
In some parts of the world, the word "to eat" literally means "to eat rice." All varieties of rice are available throughout the year, supplying as much as half of the daily calories for half of the world's population.

The process that produces brown rice removes only the outermost layer, the hull, of the rice kernel and is the least damaging to its nutritional value. The complete milling and polishing that converts brown rice into white rice destroys 67% of the vitamin B3, 80% of the vitamin B1, 90% of the vitamin B6, half of the manganese, half of the phosphorus, 60% of the iron, and all of the dietary fiber and essential fatty acids. Fully milled and polished white rice is required to be "enriched" with vitamins B1, B3 and iron.

Why Brown-But Not White-Rice is One of the World's Healthiest Foods

The difference between brown rice and white rice is not just color! A whole grain of rice has several layers. Only the outermost layer, the hull, is removed to produce what we call brown rice. This process is the least damaging to the nutritional value of the rice and avoids the unnecessary loss of nutrients that occurs with further processing. If brown rice is further milled to remove the bran and most of the germ layer, the result is a whiter rice, but also a rice that has lost many more nutrients. At this point, however, the rice is still unpolished, and it takes polishing to produce the white rice we are used to seeing. Polishing removes the aleurone layer of the grain-a layer filled with health-supportive, essential fats. Because these fats, once exposed to air by the refining process, are highly susceptible to oxidation, this layer is removed to extend the shelf life of the product. The resulting white rice is simply a refined starch that is largely bereft of its original nutrients.

Our food ranking system qualified brown rice as an excellent source of manganese, and a good source of the minerals selenium and magnesium. The complete milling and polishing that converts brown rice into white rice destroys 67% of the vitamin B3, 80% of the vitamin B1, 90% of the vitamin B6, half of the manganese, half of the phosphorus, 60% of the iron, and all of the dietary fiber and essential fatty acids. By law in the United States, fully milled and polished white rice must be "enriched" with vitamins B1, B3, and iron. But the form of these nutrients when added back into the processed rice is not the same as in the original unprocessed version, and at least 11 lost nutrients are not replaced in any form even with rice "enrichment."

Here are some of the ways in which the nutrients supplied by brown rice can make an important difference in your health:

Manganese-Energy Production Plus Antioxidant Protection

Just one cup of brown rice will provide you with 88.0% of the daily value for manganese. This trace mineral helps produce energy from protein and carbohydrates and is involved in the synthesis of fatty acids, which are important for a healthy nervous system, and in the production of cholesterol, which is used by the body to produce sex hormones. Manganese is also a critical component of a very important antioxidant enzyme called superoxide dismutase. Superoxide dismutase (SOD) is found inside the body's mitochondria (the oxygen-based energy factories inside most of our cells) where it provides protection against damage from the free radicals produced during energy production.

Women Who Eat Whole Grains Weigh Less

A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition underscores the importance of choosing whole grains such as brown rice rather than refined grain, i.e., white rice, to maintain a healthy body weight. In this Harvard Medical School / Brigham and Women's Hospital study, which collected data on over 74,000 female nurses aged 38-63 years over a 12 year period, weight gain was inversely associated with the intake of high-fiber, whole-grain foods but positively related to the intake of refined-grain foods. Not only did women who consumed more whole grains consistently weigh less than those who ate less of these fiber-rich foods, but those consuming the most dietary fiber from whole grains were 49% less likely to gain weight compared to those eating foods made from refined grains.

Brown Rice is Rich in Fiber and Selenium

For people worried about colon cancer risk, brown rice packs a double punch by being a concentrated source of the fiber needed to minimize the amount of time cancer-causing substances spend in contact with colon cells, and being a very good source of selenium, a trace mineral that has been shown to substantially reduce the risk of colon cancer.

In addition to supplying 14.0% of the daily value for fiber, a cup of cooked brown rice provides 27.3% of the DV for selenium, an important benefit since many Americans do not get enough selenium in their diets, yet this trace mineral is of fundamental importance to human health. Selenium is an essential component of several major metabolic pathways, including thyroid hormone metabolism, antioxidant defense systems, and immune function. Accumulated evidence from prospective studies, intervention trials and studies on animal models of cancer has suggested a strong inverse correlation between selenium intake and cancer incidence. Several mechanisms have been suggested to explain the cancer-preventive activities of selenium. Selenium has been shown to induce DNA repair and synthesis in damaged cells, to inhibit the proliferation of cancer cells, and to induce their apoptosis, the self-destruct sequence the body uses to eliminate worn out or abnormal cells.

In addition, selenium is incorporated at the active site of many proteins, including glutathione peroxidase, which is particularly important for cancer protection. One of the body's most powerful antioxidant enzymes, glutathione peroxidase is used in the liver to detoxify a wide range of potentially harmful molecules. When levels of glutathione peroxidase are too low, these toxic molecules are not disarmed and wreak havoc on any cells with which they come in contact, damaging their cellular DNA and promoting the development of cancer cells.

Not only does selenium play a critical role in cancer prevention as a cofactor of glutathione peroxidase, selenium also works with vitamin E in numerous other vital antioxidant systems throughout the body. These powerful antioxidant actions make selenium helpful in the prevention not only of cancer, but also of heart disease, and for decreasing the symptoms of asthma and the pain and inflammation of rheumatoid arthritis.

Lower Cholesterol with Whole Brown Rice

Here's yet another reason to rely on whole foods, such as brown rice, for your healthy way of eating. The oil in whole brown rice lowers cholesterol.

When Marlene Most and colleagues from Louisiana State University evaluated the effects of rice bran and rice bran oil on cholesterol levels in volunteers with moderately elevated cholesterol levels, they found that rice bran oil lowered their LDL (bad) cholesterol.

The study, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, was divided into two parts. First, 26 subjects ate a diet including 13-22g of dietary fiber each day for three weeks, after which 13 switched to a diet that added defatted rice bran to double their fiber intake for five weeks. In the second part of the study, a randomized crossover trial, 14 subjects ate a diet with rice bran oil for 10 weeks.

While the diet including only defatted rice bran did not lower cholesterol, the one containing rice bran oil lowered LDL cholesterol by 7%. Since all the diets contained similar fatty acids, the researchers concluded that the reduction in cholesterol seen in those receiving rice bran oil must have been due to other constituents such as the unsaponifiable compounds found in rice bran oil. The scientists suggest that the unsaponifiables present in rice bran oil could become important functional foods for cardiovascular health. But why extract just one beneficial compound from brown rice when you can reap all the cardioprotective benefits supplied by the matrix of nutrients naturally present in this delicious whole food? In addition to unsaponifiables, this whole grain also supplies hefty doses of heart-healthy fiber, magnesium, and B vitamins.

Tune Down and Bone Up on Brown Rice

Magnesium, another nutrient for which brown rice is a good source, has been shown in studies to be helpful for reducing the severity of asthma, lowering high blood pressure, reducing the frequency of migraine headaches, and reducing the risk of heart attack and stroke. How does magnesium accomplish all this? Magnesium helps regulate nerve and muscle tone by balancing the action of calcium. In many nerve cells, magnesium serves as Nature's own calcium channel blocker, preventing calcium from rushing into the nerve cell and activating the nerve. By blocking calcium's entry, magnesium keeps our nerves (and the blood vessels and muscles they ennervate) relaxed. If our diet provides us with too little magnesium, however, calcium can gain free entry, and nerve cells can become overactivated, sending too many messages and causing excessive contraction. Insufficient magnesium can thus contribute to high blood pressure, muscle spasms (including spasms of the heart muscle or the spasms of the airways symptomatic of asthma), and migraine headaches, as well as muscle cramps, tension, soreness and fatigue.

But that's far from all magnesium does for you. Magnesium, as well as calcium, is necessary for healthy bones. About two-thirds of the magnesium in the human body is found in our bones. Some helps give bones their physical structure, while the rest is found on the surface of the bone where it is stored for the body to draw upon as needed. Brown rice can help you keep those storage sites replenished and ready to meet your body's needs. A cup of brown rice will give you 21.0% of the daily value for magnesium.

In addition to the niacin it supplies, brown rice may also help raise blood levels of nitric oxide, a small molecule known to improve blood vessel dilation and to inhibit oxidative (free radical) damage of cholesterol and the adhesion of white cells to the vascular wall (two important steps in the development of atherosclerotic plaques). A study published in the British Journal of Nutrition suggests that diets high in rice protein can help protect against atherosclerosis by increasing blood levels of nitric oxide.

Help Prevent Gallstones

Eating foods high in insoluble fiber, such as brown rice, can help women avoid gallstones, shows a study published in the American Journal of Gastroenterology.

Studying the overall fiber intake and types of fiber consumed over a 16 year period by over 69,000 women in the Nurses Health Study, researchers found that those consuming the most fiber overall (both soluble and insoluble) had a 13% lower risk of developing gallstones compared to women consuming the fewest fiber-rich foods.

Those eating the most foods rich in insoluble fiber gained even more protection against gallstones: a 17% lower risk compared to women eating the least. And the protection was dose-related; a 5-gram increase in insoluble fiber intake dropped risk dropped 10%.

How do foods rich in insoluble fiber help prevent gallstones? Researchers think insoluble fiber not only speeds intestinal transit time (how quickly food moves through the intestines), but reduces the secretion of bile acids (excessive amounts contribute to gallstone formation), increases insulin sensitivity and lowers triglycerides (blood fats). Abundant not just in brown rice but all whole grains, insoluble fiber is also found in nuts and the edible skin of fruits and vegetables including tomatoes, cucumbers, many squash, apples, berries, and pears. In addition, beans provide insoluble as well as soluble fiber.

But it's not just fiber's ability to serve as a bulking agent that is responsible for its beneficial effects as a component of whole grains. Wheat bran, for example, which constitutes 15% of most whole-grain wheat kernels but is virtually non-existent in refined wheat flour, is rich in minerals, antioxidants, lignans, and other phytonutrients-as well as in fiber.

In addition to the matrix of nutrients in their dietary fibers, the whole-grain arsenal includes a wide variety of additional nutrients and phytochemicals that reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. Compounds in whole grains that have cholesterol-lowering effects include polyunsaturated fatty acids, oligosaccharides, plant sterols and stanols, and saponins.

Whole grains are also important dietary sources of water-soluble, fat-soluble, and insoluble antioxidants. The long list of cereal antioxidants includes vitamin E, tocotrieonols, selenium, phenolic acids, and phytic acid. These multifunctional antioxidants come in immediate-release to slow-release forms and thus are available throughout the gastrointestinal tract over a long period after being consumed.

The high antioxidant capacity of wheat bran, for example, is 20-fold that of refined wheat flour (endosperm). Although the role of antioxidant supplements in protecting against cardiovascular disease has been questioned, prospective population studies consistently suggest that when consumed in whole foods, antioxidants are associated with significant protection against cardiovascular disease. Because free radical damage to cholesterol appears to contribute significantly to the development of atherosclerosis, the broad range of antioxidant activities from the phytonutrients abundant in whole grains is thought to play a strong role in their cardio-protective effects.

Like soybeans, whole grains are good sources of phytoestrogens, plant compounds that may affect blood cholesterol levels, blood vessel elasticity, bone metabolism, and many other cellular metabolic processes.

Whole grains are rich sources of lignans that are converted by the human gut to enterolactone and enterodiole. In studies of Finnish men, blood levels of enterolactone have been found to have an inverse relation not just to cardiovascular-related death, but to all causes of death, which suggests that the plant lignans in whole grains may play an important role in their protective effects.

Lower insulin levels may also contribute to the protective effects of whole grains. In many persons, the risks of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and obesity are linked to insulin resistance. Higher intakes of whole grains are associated with increased sensitivity to insulin in population studies and clinical trials. Why? Because whole grains improve insulin sensitivity by lowering the glycemic index of the diet while increasing its content of fiber, magnesium, and vitamin E.

The whole kernel of truth: as part of your healthy way of eating, whole grains can significantly lower your risk of cardiovascular disease, obesity and type 2 diabetes. Enjoy at least 3 servings a day. No idea how to cook whole grains? Just look at the "How to Enjoy" section in our profiles of the whole grains, or for quick, easy, delicious recipes, click on this link to our Recipe Assistant and select brown rice or whichever whole grain you would like to prepare.

For all the health benefits brown rice can provide, don't forget to make this delicious, nutty-flavored grain a frequent addition to your meals.

Description

Rice is one of the most important foods in the world, supplying as much as half of the daily calories for half of the world's population. No wonder that in Asian countries, such as Thailand, rice is so highly valued that the translation of the word "to eat" literally means "to eat rice."

Asked to name the types of rice they are familiar with, people may be able to recall one or two. Yet, in actuality there is an abundance of different types of rice-over 8,000 varieties. Oftentimes, rice is categorized by its size as being either short grain, medium grain or long grain. Short grain, which has the highest starch content, makes the stickiest rice, while long grain is lighter and tends to remain separate when cooked. The qualities of medium grain fall between the other two types.

Another way that rice is classified is according to the degree of milling that it undergoes. This is what makes a brown rice different than white rice. Brown rice, often referred to as whole rice or cargo rice, is the whole grain with only its inedible outer hull removed. Brown rice still retains its nutrient-rich bran and germ. White rice, on the other hand, is both milled and polished, which removes the bran and germ along with all the nutrients that reside within these important layers.

Some of the most popular varieties of rice in this country include:

Arborio: A round grain, starchy white rice, traditionally used to make the Italian dish risotto.
Basmati: An aromatic rice that has a nutlike fragrance, delicate flavor and light texture.
Sweet rice: Almost translucent when it is cooked, this very sticky rice is traditionally used to make sushi and mochi.
Jasmine: A soft-textured long grain aromatic rice that is available in both brown and white varieties.
Bhutanese red rice: Grown in the Himalayas, this red colored rice has a nutty, earthy taste.
Forbidden rice: A black colored rice that turns purple upon cooking and has a sweet taste and sticky texture.

Tips for Preparing Rice

Like all grains, before cooking rice, especially that which is sold in bulk, rinse it thoroughly under running water and then remove any dirt or debris that you may find. After rinsing brown rice, add one part rice to two parts boiling water or broth. After the liquid has returned to a boil, turn down the heat, cover and simmer for about 45 minutes.

To prevent them from sticking, wash medium grain and round rice (like Arborio) under cool running water before cooking.

To cook basmati rice, which has a lighter, fluffier texture, soak it in a bowl of cool water before cooking, stirring frequently and replacing the water four or five times until the water no longer has a milky appearance.

A Few Quick Serving Ideas:

Heat up cooked rice with milk or soymilk. Add in cinnamon, nutmeg, raisins and honey for a delicious rice pudding.

Make homemade vegetable sushi rolls by wrapping brown rice and your favorite vegetables in sheets of well-moistened nori.

Use rice leftovers for cold rice salads that are great for on-the-go lunches. Be creative and add either chicken or tofu plus your favorite vegetables, nuts, herbs and spices.

For a simple yet delicious lunch or dinner entrée, serve beans and rice accompanied by the vegetables of your choice.

Rice as a side dish need not be served plain - spruce it up with the toppings of your choice. Some of our favorites include nuts, sesame seeds, healthy sautéed mushrooms, and scallions.

Place rice and chopped vegetables in a pita bread, top with your favorite dressing, and enjoy a quick and easy lunch meal.

Brown rice, cooked
1.00 cup
195.00 grams
216.45 calories


"I'm gonna love myself more than anyone else. I Believe in me. I'm gonna be my own best friend, stick with me till the end , won't lose myself again. Stronger woman - I AM! ~ Miranna
Start Date: 1/7/08 GW: 123.0 lbs SW: 242.0 lbs CW: 218.0 lbs
Loss to date: 24.0 lbs.
BL#5: 6/1 - 7/28: Goal 199 lbs/ 219 lbs/215.5lbs
Summer Meltdown: 6/1- 9/1: Goal 190 lbs/219 lbs/215.5lbs


 current weight: 218.2 
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2B14EVER's Photo 2B14EVER Posts: 223
2/24/08 11:44 A

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Here is an article that I wrote for all of you wonderful ladies about the adzuki bean. Enjoy!

Beans beans they are good for your heart the more you eat them the more you....Ok, I'll just hold it right there! I would like to introduce you to something that every dieter would be wise to include in their diet : the adzuki bean. Little is known about this super food. By the end of this article I hope that you will have learned something about this little known power puncher and will be planning to incorporate these into some of your recipes. The adzuki bean is a popular staple in the Chinese and Japanese diet. They are red round little beans with a little white stripe down one side. They have a sweet, nutty flavor. In Asia they are used to make red sweet bean paste but you can substitute them in any of your recipes that call for beans. The Chinese believe that the adzuki bean can strengthen the heart, aid in circulation and fatigue as well as strengthening the bladder! It also keeps the digestive system very healthy! The adzuki bean is packed with iron and it is considered the perfect food for a woman's health! The adzuki bean is great for easing menstruation and lactating moms will love to eat these beans as it increases milk production. Also, if you love to look your best the adzuki bean is known to give people a rosy cheek healthy glow! You can purchase adzuki beans at any Asian market or health food store. You buy them dried and then you soak in water overnight then cook them for about two hours on the stovetop and you can then add them to any recipe that calls for beans! By the way, Don't waste the stock from the beans! You can add this to your soup or stews for an added bonus! Remember: A little bit of these beans goes a long way!



"In the end, it will all be ok. If it's not ok, then it's not the end!"


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2/23/08 9:40 P

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Simple Ways to Live a Healthy Lifestyle
From Paige Waehner,
Your Guide to Exercise.

About.com Health's Disease and Condition content is reviewed by our Medical Review Board

You hear a lot about living a healthy lifestyle, but what does that mean? In general, a healthy person doesn't smoke, is at a healthy weight, eats healthy and exercises. Sounds simple, doesn't it?
The trick to healthy living is making small changes...taking more steps, adding fruit to your cereal, having an extra glass of water...these are just a few ways you can start living healthy without drastic changes.

Exercise

One of the biggest problems in America today is lack of activity. We know it's good for us but avoid it like the plague either because we're used to being sedentary or afraid that exercise has to be vigorous to be worth our time. The truth is, movement is movement and the more you do, the healthier you'll be. Even moderate activities like chores, gardening and walking can make a difference.

Just adding a little movement to your life can:

Reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke and diabetes
Improve joint stability
Increase and improve range of movement
Help maintain flexibility as you age
Maintain bone mass
Prevent osteoporosis and fractures
Improve mood and reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression
Enhance self esteem
Improve memory in elderly people
Reduce stress

So, even if you opt for small changes and a more modest weight loss, you can see the benefits are still pretty good. One study has found that just a 10% weight reduction helped obese patients reduce blood pressure, cholesterol and increase longevity.

Simple Ways to Move Your Body

You can start the process of weight loss now by adding a little more activity to your life. If you're not ready for a structured program, start small. Every little bit counts and it all adds up to burning more calories.

Turn off the TV. Once a week, turn off the TV and do something a little more physical with your family. Play games, take a walk...almost anything will be more active than sitting on the couch.

Walk more. Look for small ways to walk more. When you get the mail, take a walk around the block, take the dog for an extra outing each day or walk on your treadmill for 5 minutes before getting ready for work.

Do some chores. Shoveling snow, working in the garden, raking leaves, sweeping the floor...these kinds of activities may not be 'vigorous' exercise, but they can keep you moving while getting your house in order.

Pace while you talk. When you're on the phone, pace around or even do some cleaning while gabbing. This is a great way to stay moving while doing something you enjoy.

Be aware. Make a list of all the physical activities you do on a typical day. If you find that the bulk of your time is spent sitting, make another list of all the ways you could move more--getting up each hour to stretch or walk, walk the stairs at work, etc.

Eating Well

Eating a healthy diet is another part of the healthy lifestyle. Not only can a clean diet help with weight management, it can also improve your health and quality of life as you get older. You can use the new Food Guide Pyramid to determine how many calories you need and what food groups you should focus on or, if you're looking for smaller changes, you can use these tips for simple ways to change how you eat:

Eat more fruit. Add it to your cereal, your salads or even your dinners

Sneak in more veggies. Add them wherever you can--a tomato on your sandwich, peppers on your pizza, or extra veggies in your pasta sauce. Keep pre-cut or canned/frozen veggies ready for quick snacks.

Switch your salad dressing. If you eat full-fat dressing, switch to something lighter and you'll automatically eat less calories.

Eat low-fat or fat-free dairy. Switching to skim milk or fat free yogurt is another simple way to eat less calories without having to change too much in your diet.

Make some substitutes. Look through your cabinets or fridge and pick 3 foods you eat every day. Write down the nutritional content and, the next time you're at the store, find lower-calorie substitutes for just those 3 items.

Creating a healthy lifestyle doesn't have to mean drastic changes. In fact, drastic changes almost always lead to failure. Making small changes in how you live each day can lead to big rewards, so figure out what you can to be healthy today.


Edited by: VIRGOGAL72 at: 2/23/2008 (21:40)
"I'm gonna love myself more than anyone else. I Believe in me. I'm gonna be my own best friend, stick with me till the end , won't lose myself again. Stronger woman - I AM! ~ Miranna
Start Date: 1/7/08 GW: 123.0 lbs SW: 242.0 lbs CW: 218.0 lbs
Loss to date: 24.0 lbs.
BL#5: 6/1 - 7/28: Goal 199 lbs/ 219 lbs/215.5lbs
Summer Meltdown: 6/1- 9/1: Goal 190 lbs/219 lbs/215.5lbs


 current weight: 218.2 
242
231.25
220.5
209.75
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VIRGOGAL72's Photo VIRGOGAL72 SparkPoints: (5,762)
Fitness Minutes: (3,449)
Posts: 1,403
2/23/08 3:51 P

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Glad it can help you! Hugs

"I'm gonna love myself more than anyone else. I Believe in me. I'm gonna be my own best friend, stick with me till the end , won't lose myself again. Stronger woman - I AM! ~ Miranna
Start Date: 1/7/08 GW: 123.0 lbs SW: 242.0 lbs CW: 218.0 lbs
Loss to date: 24.0 lbs.
BL#5: 6/1 - 7/28: Goal 199 lbs/ 219 lbs/215.5lbs
Summer Meltdown: 6/1- 9/1: Goal 190 lbs/219 lbs/215.5lbs


 current weight: 218.2 
242
231.25
220.5
209.75
199
2B14EVER's Photo 2B14EVER Posts: 223
2/23/08 11:11 A

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Thanks for posting this article Miranna. As you know, I have been severely under stress. I am really going to use some of the ideas mentioned in this article to combat the stress.

"In the end, it will all be ok. If it's not ok, then it's not the end!"


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Can Stress Cause Weight Gain?


Your job is hanging by a thread, and the credit-card bills are mounting. Your teenager wants to quit school and become a professional snowboarder. Or maybe it's the increasing tensions in the world, brought to you 24 hours a day on your TV screen, getting you down.


Regardless of the reason, stress is a way of life in the 21st century. And for some people, the effects go beyond feelings of anxiety and discomfort. For these people, stress can mean facing each day ravenously hungry -- and adding weight gain to their list of worries.

"While the immediate . . . response to acute stress can be a temporary loss of appetite, more and more we are coming to recognize that for some people, chronic stress can be tied to an increase in appetite -- and stress-induced weight gain," says Elissa Epel, PhD, an assistant professor in the department of psychiatry at the University of California at San Francisco.

The problem, she says, lies within our neuroendocrine system -- a brain-to-body connection that harkens back to evolutionary times and which helped our distant ancestors to survive. Though today the source of the stress is more likely to be an unpaid bill than a saber-toothed tiger, this system still activates a series of hormones whenever we feel threatened.

"These hormones give us the biochemical strength we need to fight or flee our stressors," Epel tells WebMD.

The hormones released when we're stressed include adrenalin -- which gives us instant energy -- along with corticotrophin releasing hormone (CRH) and cortisol. While high levels of adrenalin and CRH decrease appetite at first, the effects usually don't last long.

And cortisol works on a different timetable. Its job is to help us replenish our body after the stress has passed, and it hangs around a lot longer. "It can remain elevated, increasing your appetite and ultimately driving you to eat more," says Epel.

While this system works fine when our stress comes in the form of physical danger -- when we really need to "fight or flee", and then replenish -- it doesn't serve the same purpose for today's garden-variety stressors.

"Often, our response to stress today is to sit and stew in our frustration and anger, without expending any of the calories or food stores that we would if we were physically fighting our way out of stress or danger," says Shawn Talbott, PhD, an associate professor in the Department of Nutrition at the University of Utah and author of The Cortisol Connection.

In other words, since your neuro-endocrine system doesn't know you didn't fight or flee, it still responds to stress with the hormonal signal to replenish nutritional stores -- which may make you feel hungry.

Following those stress signals can lead not only to weight gain, but also the tendency to store what is called "visceral fat" around the midsection. These fat cells that lie deep within the abdomen have been linked to an increase in both diabetes and heart disease.

To further complicate matters, the "fuel" our muscles need during "fight or flight " is sugar -- one reason we crave carbohydrates when we are stressed, says endocrinologist Riccardo Perfetti, MD, PhD.

"To move the sugar from our blood to our muscles requires insulin, the hormone that opens the gates to the cells and lets the sugar in," says Perfetti, who directs the outpatient diabetes program at Cedars Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. And high levels of sugar and insulin set the stage for the body to store fat.

"So people who are under stress, metabolically speaking, will gain weight for that very reason," Perfetti tells WebMD.

Mind Over Matter

As much as we would like to blame all our weight gain on stress, experts say that eating in response to stress can also be a learned habit -- one that's merely encouraged by brain chemistry.

"Under stress, there's an impulse to do something, to move, and often, eating becomes the activity that relieves the stress. It's easy to do and it's comforting," says David Ginsberg, MD, a psychiatrist and director of the Behavioral Health Program at New York University Medical Center.

In fact, it may be our bodies' initial response to rising levels of cortisol that teaches us there is comfort in sugary or starchy foods.

"During the first couple of days following a stressful event, cortisol is giving you a clue to eat high-carbohydrate foods," Perfetti tells WebMD. "Once you comply, you quickly learn a behavioral response that you can feel almost destined to repeat anytime you feel stressed."

Now for the good news: Whether your urge to eat is driven by hormones or habits or a combination of both, research shows there are ways to interrupt the cycle, break the stress and stop the weight gain.

Here's what the experts recommend:

1. Exercise. This is the best stress-buster -- and also happens to be good for you in lots of other ways. "It not only burns calories, when you move your body, even with a simple activity such as walking, you begin to produce a cascade of biochemicals, at least some of which counter the negative effects of stress hormones -- as well as control insulin and sugar levels," says Talbott.

At the same time, Ginsburg notes that exercising too hard for too long can raise cortisol levels and actually increase stress. The answer, he says is to choose an activity you really enjoy doing -- be it an aerobic sport like running or a calmer activity such as Pilates -- and then keep workouts to a length that doesn't exhaust you (this could be as little as 20 minutes a day, three to five days a week).

2. Eat a balanced diet -- and never skip a meal. "Eat breakfast -- and try to consume six small rather than three huge meals a day, with foods from all the food groups," Ginsberg tells WebMD. This helps keep blood sugar levels steady, which in turn put a damper on insulin production and eventually reduce cortisol levels -- all helping to control appetite and weight.

3. Don't lose sleep, over your weight problems or your stress -- When we don't get enough rest, cortisol levels rise, making us feel hungry and less satisfied with the food we do eat, Ginsberg says.

4. Devote time to relaxation -- Because it works much like exercise to produce brain chemicals that counter the effects of stress, Ginsburg suggests finding the activities that make you feel relaxed and calm. For some, he says, yoga can do the trick. Others may prefer meditation techniques or deep breathing.

And don't overlook the relaxing power of cuddling up on a sofa with a good book or magazine, or even playing your favorite movie on the VCR. "Anything that makes you feel calm and relaxed will help counter the biochemical effects of stress," says Talbott.

5. Snack on whole grain, high fiber foods. If you just can't ignore those stress-related hunger pangs, try filling your tummy with foods high in fiber and low in sugar, like oatmeal, whole wheat bread, or fruits such as pears or plums.

According to Pamela Peeke, MD, MPH, author of Fight Fat After Forty, foods that are high in sugar and simple carbohydrates -- like white flour, cookies, cake, white rice, or pasta -- cause insulin levels to rise, which in turn increases stress hormones and ultimately makes you feel more hungry. But high-fiber, whole-grain foods -- particularly cereals like oatmeal or multi-grain flakes, as well as fruits -- help keep insulin levels on a even keel, which can help control blood sugar levels, and ultimately, hunger, according to Peeke.

6. Avoid caffeine, cigarettes and alcohol -- According to the American Institute of Stress, cigarettes, as well as caffeine-laden soft drinks, coffee, tea, and even chocolate, can cause cortisol levels to rise, stress to increase, blood sugar to drop and hunger to prevail. The institute also cautions against drinking too much alcohol, which can affect blood sugar and insulin levels.

7. Take your vitamins -- A number of medical studies have shown that stress can deplete important nutrients -- particularly the B complex and C vitamins, and sometimes the minerals calcium and magnesium.

Because these nutrients are needed to balance the effects of stress hormones like cortisol, and may even play a role in helping us burn fat, it's important to keep levels high, Talbott says. While a good diet will help, he says, taking a high potency multi-vitamin supplement can insure you give your body what it needs to not only deal with the stress, but also burn fat and lose weight.

And speaking of losing weight, here's one bit of news you may be happy to hear: Experts say you shouldn't try to go on a strict diet when you're under extreme or chronic stress.

In one study, published in the Journal of Clinical Nutrition in 2001, researchers from the University of British Columbia found that severely limiting calorie intake could kick off a series of biochemical events that ultimately not only increased stress levels, but could make people feel more hungry.

The researchers followed 62 women for three days. Of this group, 33 were on a diet of no more than about 1,500 calories a day, while the other 29 consumed up to about 2,200 calories daily.

After analyzing urine samples, researchers found that the women who had consumed the least food had the highest levels of cortisol. Not surprisingly, these same women also reported more stress during what researchers called "daily food-related experiences." In short, the more they restricted food intake, the greater their levels of stress hormones, and, ultimately, the more they wanted to eat.

If you find yourself chronically stressed out, the experts say, you should do what you can to decrease your stress levels, then follow a reduced-calorie, yet balanced, diet to stop the weight gain and lose the extra pounds.

By Colette Bouchez
Reviewed By Kathleen Zelman, MPH, RD, July 25, 2007.
Medically updated July 25, 2007.




"I'm gonna love myself more than anyone else. I Believe in me. I'm gonna be my own best friend, stick with me till the end , won't lose myself again. Stronger woman - I AM! ~ Miranna
Start Date: 1/7/08 GW: 123.0 lbs SW: 242.0 lbs CW: 218.0 lbs
Loss to date: 24.0 lbs.
BL#5: 6/1 - 7/28: Goal 199 lbs/ 219 lbs/215.5lbs
Summer Meltdown: 6/1- 9/1: Goal 190 lbs/219 lbs/215.5lbs


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2/22/08 10:32 P

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I just relized that I have been really lacking in posting articles. My apologies.

_______________________________

Stroke Risk May Be Lowered By Moderate Level Of Aerobic Fitness
Article Date: 22 Feb 2008 - 3:00 PST


A moderate level of aerobic fitness can significantly reduce stroke risk for men and women, according to a large, long-running study presented at the American Stroke Association's International Stroke Conference 2008.

"Fitness has a protective effect regardless of the presence or absence of other stroke risk factors, including family history of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, elevated cholesterol levels and high body mass index," said Steven Hooker, Ph.D., the study's lead author.

To read more of the article and research you can find this article at: www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/98
25
7.php


Happy Reading! Miranna

Edited by: VIRGOGAL72 at: 2/22/2008 (22:31)
"I'm gonna love myself more than anyone else. I Believe in me. I'm gonna be my own best friend, stick with me till the end , won't lose myself again. Stronger woman - I AM! ~ Miranna
Start Date: 1/7/08 GW: 123.0 lbs SW: 242.0 lbs CW: 218.0 lbs
Loss to date: 24.0 lbs.
BL#5: 6/1 - 7/28: Goal 199 lbs/ 219 lbs/215.5lbs
Summer Meltdown: 6/1- 9/1: Goal 190 lbs/219 lbs/215.5lbs


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2/8/08 9:23 A

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I have heard that spicy food rev up metabolism .
So I thought I'd share this article. - Penny (HillPrincess)

Hot Sauce & Chile Pepper Facts
Lose Weight By Eating Hot Sauce?

A study published in the British Journal of Nutrition has discovered that capsaicin, (the stuff in peppers that makes them hot), when added to breakfast foods or appetizers at lunch, causes people to eat less during meals and for hours afterwards. Thirteen women, who ate breakfast foods spiced with red pepper, ate less than normal at breakfast and during the day, while ten men, who ate red pepper laced appetizers, consumed fewer calories at lunch and during a mid-day snack hours later. Aside from acting as an appetite suppressant, red pepper also seems to increase the number of calories burned, particularly after high-fat meals.

The Health Benefits of Capsaicin

1. Improves digestion by stimulating stomach secretions


2. Lowers triglycerides


3.Triggers the release of endorphins


4. Unclogs stuffy noses by irritating mucus membranes


5.May reduce high blood pressure


6. May protect against some forms of cancer.


7.Diabetics Take Note!


Capsaicin contains vitamins A and C, and beta-carotene. It's low in fat, calories and cholesterol If you thought your diabetic diet was supposed to be boring, try spicing up your cuisine with capsaicin-based products, like hot sauce or jalapeno peppers. And if that's not enough, capsaicin also appears to increase your metabolic rate so you can burn more calories. This is an important finding for dieters. If you sprinkle cayenne pepper flakes on your low-fat pizza or soup, toss some sliced jalapeno peppers into your salad, or chop some habanero peppers into your turkey chili, you may be able to lose weight faster! You'll also benefit from the other perks: lower triglycerides and great digestion.

Improve the odds that your family will reap the health benefits of capsaicin. Keep a bottle of hot sauce on your kitchen table or counter. Low fat tortilla chips and hot sauce make a satisfying appetizer or after-school snack.
provided by pyropepper.com


"I'm gonna love myself more than anyone else. I Believe in me. I'm gonna be my own best friend, stick with me till the end , won't lose myself again. Stronger woman - I AM! ~ Miranna
Start Date: 1/7/08 GW: 123.0 lbs SW: 242.0 lbs CW: 218.0 lbs
Loss to date: 24.0 lbs.
BL#5: 6/1 - 7/28: Goal 199 lbs/ 219 lbs/215.5lbs
Summer Meltdown: 6/1- 9/1: Goal 190 lbs/219 lbs/215.5lbs


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2/5/08 8:38 P

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Thanks so much for posting these articles.

DSALINDSAY's Photo DSALINDSAY Posts: 1,427
2/5/08 6:58 P

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Miranna,
Thank you so much for posting these articles. I am really bad when it comes to looking up things to read. This is all very interesting and things I really didn't know! Thanks again emoticon

~Shannon

"If you focus on results, you will never change. If you focus on change, you will get results."
- Jack Dixon

Many of life's failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.
~Thomas Edison


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2/5/08 1:36 P

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National Institutes of Health


Benefits of Aerobic Exercise:

* Increased maximal oxygen consumption (VO2max)
* Improvement in cardivascular/cardiorespiratory function (heart and lungs)
o Increased maximal cardiac output (amount of blood pumped every minute)
o Increased maximal stroke volume (amount of blood pumped with each beat)
o Increased blood volume and ability to carry oxygen
o Reduced workload on the heart (myocardial oxygen consumption) for any given submaximal exercise intensity
* Increased blood supply to muscles and ability to use oxygen
* Lower heart rate and blood pressure at any level of submaximal exercise
* Increased threshold for lactic acid accumulation
* Lower resting systolic and diastolic blood pressure in people with high blood pressure
* Increased HDL Cholesterol (the good cholesterol)
* Decreased blood triglycerides
* Reduced body fat and improved weight control
* Improved glucose tolerance and reduced insulin resistance

Benefits of Strength Training:

* Increased muscular strength
* Increased strength of tendons and ligaments
* Potentially improves flexibility (range of motion of joints)
* Reduced body fat and increased lean body mass (muscle mass)
* Potentially decreases resting systolic and diastolic blood pressure
* Positive changes in blood cholesterol
* Improved glucose tolerance and insulin sensitivity
* Improved strength, balance, and functional ability in older adults



"I'm gonna love myself more than anyone else. I Believe in me. I'm gonna be my own best friend, stick with me till the end , won't lose myself again. Stronger woman - I AM! ~ Miranna
Start Date: 1/7/08 GW: 123.0 lbs SW: 242.0 lbs CW: 218.0 lbs
Loss to date: 24.0 lbs.
BL#5: 6/1 - 7/28: Goal 199 lbs/ 219 lbs/215.5lbs
Summer Meltdown: 6/1- 9/1: Goal 190 lbs/219 lbs/215.5lbs


 current weight: 218.2 
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2/5/08 1:30 P

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Fiber 101:
Soluble Fiber vs Insoluble Fiber

Written by Gloria Tsang, RD
Published in November 2005

.......

Insoluble Fiber

Functions of Insoluble Fiber

* move bulk through the intestines
* control and balance the pH (acidity) in the intestines

Benefits of Insoluble Fiber

* promote regular bowel movement and prevent constipation
* remove toxic waste through colon in less time
* help prevent colon cancer by keeping an optimal pH in intestines to prevent microbes from producing cancerous substances

Food Sources of Insoluble Fiber

* Vegetables such as green beans and dark green leafy vegetables
* Fruit skins and root vegetable skins
* Whole-wheat products
* Wheat oat
* Corn bran
* Seeds & Nuts

*********

Soluble Fiber

Functions of Soluble Fiber

* bind with fatty acids
* prolong stomach emptying time so that sugar is released and absorbed more slowly

Benefits of Soluble Fiber

* lower total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol (the Bad cholesterol) therefore reducing the risk of heart disease
* regulate blood sugar for people with diabetes

Food Sources of Soluble Fiber

* Oat/Oat bran
* Dried beans and peas
* Nuts
* Barley
* Flax seed
* Fruits such as oranges and apples
* Vegetables such as carrots
* Psyllium husk



Key Message: An average diet contains 75%:25% insoluble fiber: soluble fiber. When making a food choice decision, don't worry about choosing a specific type of fiber. Many foods such as oat, oat brans, psyllium husk and flax seed are rich in both insoluble and soluble fiber. Eating enough fiber is more important! The recommended intake of fiber is 25g per day. If you eat at least 5 servings of fruits & vegetables as well as at least 6 servings of grain products per day (at least 3 of which are whole grains), you are very likely meeting the fiber requirements.


"I'm gonna love myself more than anyone else. I Believe in me. I'm gonna be my own best friend, stick with me till the end , won't lose myself again. Stronger woman - I AM! ~ Miranna
Start Date: 1/7/08 GW: 123.0 lbs SW: 242.0 lbs CW: 218.0 lbs
Loss to date: 24.0 lbs.
BL#5: 6/1 - 7/28: Goal 199 lbs/ 219 lbs/215.5lbs
Summer Meltdown: 6/1- 9/1: Goal 190 lbs/219 lbs/215.5lbs


 current weight: 218.2 
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2/5/08 1:17 P

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I didn't know this, so I thought I would show you all - Miranna

High-Fructose Corn Syrup

High-fructose corn syrup (HFCS), a common ingredient in soda, fruit drinks, cookies, jams, and snack foods, is made by refining cornstarch through an enzymatic process. HFCS became popular as a sweetener in the 1980's when improvements in its manufacturing made it cheaper than cane or beet sugar. While there are potential health consequences to the over-consumption of any type of sweetener, HFCS carries additional risks because of its high fructose content and the way it is metabolized in the body.

Here are some:
While the consumption of table sugar triggers the secretion of insulin and leptin, which signal your body that you are full, HFCS does not. Consumption of foods containing HFCS could contribute to increased caloric intake and weight gain.

Consumption of HFCS can elevate triglyceride levels, which can increase the risk of heart disease.

HFCS can upset the magnesium, copper, chromium, and zinc levels in the body, which could lead to deficiency diseases like bone loss


"I'm gonna love myself more than anyone else. I Believe in me. I'm gonna be my own best friend, stick with me till the end , won't lose myself again. Stronger woman - I AM! ~ Miranna
Start Date: 1/7/08 GW: 123.0 lbs SW: 242.0 lbs CW: 218.0 lbs
Loss to date: 24.0 lbs.
BL#5: 6/1 - 7/28: Goal 199 lbs/ 219 lbs/215.5lbs
Summer Meltdown: 6/1- 9/1: Goal 190 lbs/219 lbs/215.5lbs


 current weight: 218.2 
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2/3/08 11:29 A

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Here is an article I read: Just thought I would share - Miranna

There are times in life when you are less motivated then others. There can be many reasons why you may lose some, or even all, of your motivation. If you want to succeed in life you to be able to keep yourself motivated. Of course this is much easier said then done. Here are 3 keys to help keep yourself motivated.

1. Stay around people that believe in you.

One of the worst things that you can do when you are feeling unmotivated is to isolate yourself from people. You may have to force yourself to be around people but it will help you. By being around people that believe in you, it will help you to not keep losing your motivation and many times can be the key to help you gain your motivation again. (Spark People - This Team!)

2. Remember your purpose.

It’s easy to lose your motivation if you lose sight of why you are doing what you are doing. The need to keep your purpose in front of you at all times is so important. By doing this you will be able to forge through the tough times. Even when you don’t think you can carry on anymore, by keeping your reason in front of you, it will help keep you motivated. (Do you have your goals in a SparkPeople Blog? Just an idea!)

3. Surround yourself with motivational things.

I was talking with a friend of mine the other day is going through a difficult time in their life right now. They came up to me the other and told me about a video they saw on the internet about a guy who overcame unbelievable obstacles. Just by watching that video they were encouraged and knew that they could get through their problems because of that video. Watching, reading, or listening to other peoples triumphs are a great way to help you stay motivated.

emoticon Team Synergy: I would like to challenge each of you to create a vision board and/or scrapbook. A vision board is a visualization tool made from magazines, pictures, stickers ect. When creating this you will need to envision yourself already at your goal and beyond, whether it be your goal weight, a certain size, places you are visiting, things you obtained.

Remember: It is not about HOW your going to get there, rather it is that you are already there.

Place this in a place you will see it everyday and close your eyes and envision (like daydream) you already there for 2 min each day. emoticon

Have fun and be creative!!!

Edited by: VIRGOGAL72 at: 2/3/2008 (11:32)
"I'm gonna love myself more than anyone else. I Believe in me. I'm gonna be my own best friend, stick with me till the end , won't lose myself again. Stronger woman - I AM! ~ Miranna
Start Date: 1/7/08 GW: 123.0 lbs SW: 242.0 lbs CW: 218.0 lbs
Loss to date: 24.0 lbs.
BL#5: 6/1 - 7/28: Goal 199 lbs/ 219 lbs/215.5lbs
Summer Meltdown: 6/1- 9/1: Goal 190 lbs/219 lbs/215.5lbs


 current weight: 218.2 
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2/1/08 5:44 P

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Measure Your Progress
31st January 2007
Author: Christopher Guerriero

An extremely important part of your health & fitness program is being able to measure your progress.
Body fat testing is not painful, nor is it expensive. You can get it done at most any gym or fitness center.
Simply ask if they have an expert who can measure body composition.
It's also a good idea to take before and after photos and post them somewhere you'll see them every day.
But most importantly, measure 5 - 10 different aspects of your progress.
My most successful clients measure everything in their life that's effected by their weight loss, normally on a simple scale from 1 - 10, such as:

- their daily energy level
- their attitude
- the way they feel when they look in the mirror
- the way they fit into their clothes
- the compliments they get from people
- their level of mental focus
- their waist, hips, and thigh measurements
- their body weight
- their body-fat level
- their endurance in their workouts
- etc, etc, etc...

Make a long list of ways you can measure your progress - but be sure to include things that are truly important to YOU. If having loads of energy is important to you, than you should be measuring your energy level every day to see if your diet and/or workout routine are doing their job.
On the other hand, if you already have a lot of daily energy, than you might not want to measure that - you might prefer to measure other things that are more important to you at the stage of life your currently at.
Take time to design your list, then chart your progress in a daily journal every day for each of the categories on your list. Then take an average for the whole day, and write that average at the top of your page.

This article is free for republishing
Source: www.articlealley.com/article_125186_17.htm

"I'm gonna love myself more than anyone else. I Believe in me. I'm gonna be my own best friend, stick with me till the end , won't lose myself again. Stronger woman - I AM! ~ Miranna
Start Date: 1/7/08 GW: 123.0 lbs SW: 242.0 lbs CW: 218.0 lbs
Loss to date: 24.0 lbs.
BL#5: 6/1 - 7/28: Goal 199 lbs/ 219 lbs/215.5lbs
Summer Meltdown: 6/1- 9/1: Goal 190 lbs/219 lbs/215.5lbs


 current weight: 218.2 
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2/1/08 5:20 P

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emoticon If you have an interesting article regarding healthy living, please post a link or post the information directly.

Share the wealth of information on the internet waves! emoticon

"I'm gonna love myself more than anyone else. I Believe in me. I'm gonna be my own best friend, stick with me till the end , won't lose myself again. Stronger woman - I AM! ~ Miranna
Start Date: 1/7/08 GW: 123.0 lbs SW: 242.0 lbs CW: 218.0 lbs
Loss to date: 24.0 lbs.
BL#5: 6/1 - 7/28: Goal 199 lbs/ 219 lbs/215.5lbs
Summer Meltdown: 6/1- 9/1: Goal 190 lbs/219 lbs/215.5lbs


 current weight: 218.2 
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