Tag Archives: weight

Plugging Away

27 Feb

It has been a busy few weeks. I finally have gotten back on track with regular exercise and eating properly again. After 8 months of being depressed and stressed, I’m now just stressed. Well, that’s one down anyway.

I gained 10 pounds during my boyfriend’s deployment. He’s still gone but hopefully will be home in 6 weeks or less. In the meantime I’m trying to get back on track. I’ve started working out regularly with a trainer and keeping my food journal.

After a tough start, I lost a pound and shaved 5 minutes off of my last 5K time. Each week my trainer increases my weights, reps and times and I’ve been showing strength and speed improvements. I ran my 5K section of my half marathon race in 47:02 and last weekend I finished my training run in 42:01.

I feel my confidence returning. After being in a terrible fog for so long, I feel like the pink ninja again. It’s been hard adjusting to fewer calories each day and squeezing in workouts was a challenge at first but it feels great.

Anyone can get back on the wagon, no matter how hard it seems. Just make up your mind to start and don’t make anymore excuses. Any day can be your start day and only worry about that day. Don’t think about the pounds ahead or trying to conquer endless miles. Just meet your goal that day and worry about the rest tomorrow.

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Going, Going…Gone

12 Mar

Following the marathon in October, I gained 3 pounds. It really didn’t start until November as a result of the holidays but mostly due to the fact I was working 70 hours a week. I wasn’t eating right and I definitely wasn’t getting my exercise in. I felt awful, but there was nothing I could do. I was so exhausted and so busy, I was just trying to keep sane. In January, things finally calmed down at my office and with my freelance work so I was able to get back into a routine.

The routine had its ups and downs. I was definitely going out to eat more to socialize with friends who I hadn’t seen during my busy time. So the 3 pounds wasn’t budging. Three pounds doesn’t sound like much, but if you let 3 slide, then it becomes 5 and then it becomes 10 and down rabbit hole you go. I was fretting about the 3 pounds, but I knew it’d come off eventually.

One of the hardest thing was getting a regular workout schedule going again at work. With a new promotion came new responsibilities and less time. However, my workouts are important not only for weight maintenance, but they help me greatly with stress. So I started marking them on my email calendar as a meeting so people wouldn’t schedule things at the office during this time. It really worked! I was able to leave and get my workout in. The interesting thing is that my work still got done. So it was okay to take some time for myself.

I cut back drastically on eating out. For one thing, I was tired of it. It doesn’t taste as good as homemade food and it was no longer a special treat I enjoyed. I made sure I allotted time to cook my meals and take my lunch. I got back to recording my calorie intake regularly as I had sometimes let it lapse.

Today, the 3 pounds is officially gone. It’s not much, but I can tell the difference in my clothes. I feel better too. Mostly I just feel good that I caught it before it turned into a serious number. That’s the key. If you put on a few pounds from the holidays or a vacation, it’s okay. It happens. Just make sure to get on top of it before it gets out of control. Put workout appointments on your phone or email calendar to make sure you get them in. Take time to record your food. These are all simple steps to success.

Ready for an Overweight President?

30 Sep

Will America Vote for An Overweight President?

Yesterday I saw an article on ABC News about New Jersey governor Chris Christie’s possible run for president in 2012. The article was wondering if America would vote for an overweight man to become president and based on the article’s preliminary information, it sounded like no. Although I was appalled, I guess I can say that I really wasn’t that shocked. Or was I?

The world of politics has gotten more and more corrupt over the years and in the world of 24 hour news, nothing is a secret. Sex scandals, prejudice, faux-pas are all the norm now in politics. Yet those things are overlooked and accepted. Sure Clinton got into some trouble with the ladies and was impeached, but face it, he was an extremely popular president and considered very, very successful. Bush faced controversy by getting us into the Iraq war and the mess that led to, yet he was reelected.

To me, those seem like pretty big issues, but yet the thing America will hold against a potential candidate is their weight. Is it right that someone who could potentially be a fantastic leader of this nation (I know nothing about him or his political views so please take this theoretically) be held back from the position just because he weighs a lot? Are we really that shallow?

The article argues that Americans want a healthy president in office due to the fact it is such a high stress job and being in good health is key to handle it. Yet, one in three Americans is obese and the rate is expected to climb over the years. So isn’t that a little the pot calling the kettle black?

Entertainer Kelly Osbourne said she received far more flack in the press for her weight than she ever did for her numerous trips to rehab to battle drug and alcohol addiction. The first things tabloids point out once a star has had a baby is how fast they are back to their regular body and have lost the baby weight.

For a country with an obesity epidemic as high as ours, we sure are hypocritical to our leaders, entertainers and other public figures in expect rail thin, health freaks when we as a nation can’t seem to accomplish it.

I personally think that when choosing a president, I care more about his views on different global and national issues and whether or not he can help our country over his weight. I do agree that the president should be healthy, but I think all people should strive to be healthy. And I’m certainly not going to base my vote on a candidate’s weight.

5 Steps to a Healthier Life

25 Aug

Starting a new diet or exercise plan can seem really overwhelming. Whether you’ve tried and failed on numerous occasions or have a lot of weight to lose, surmounting the weight demon can seem impossible. The way I achieved my weight loss success was through a series of small steps. I couldn’t imagine a drastic change in my life when I was going through recovery from surgery, so I made small changes. These are 5 simple steps that I feel will really help you make a change in your life for the better without being overwhelmed.

1. Keep a Food Journal
Start keeping a food journal. Use an online resource like My-Calorie-Counter.com or Livestrong.com and record everything you eat for a full week. Write down the good and the bad and see what you consume in a week. Let’s say you’re consuming 2700 calories a day, which is a pretty big number. Rather than doing something drastic like cutting it down to 1500, cut it by 500 calories a day. It’s a small amount you won’t probably notice, but this allows you to lose a pound a week at a healthy, safe rate. As you lose weight, adjust your caloric intake gradually.

2. Go the Distance
Start incorporating small forms of exercise into your daily life. Park your car in the furthest slot away from the door so you have to walk more. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Go for a 20 minute walk after dinner. Start small. If you try to take on a huge exercise program right off the bat, chances are you’re going to get sore and give up. Try to move for 30 minutes a day. If you can keep that up for a month or so, join a gym.

3. It’s All Greek to Me
There’s a reason the Mediterranean Diet is worshipped by doctors for its health and nutritional benefits. One of the big staples is Greek yogurt. Use plain non-fat Greek yogurt as a substitute for sour cream or heavy cream in recipes. You can’t taste the difference and you cut hundreds of calories with this simple substitution.

4. Breakfast of Champions
Eat a good breakfast. A good breakfast is not a donut in your company’s break room nor is it an Egg McMuffin. And don’t go thinking you can skip out on this important meal. Eating a healthy, well-balanced breakfast will jump start your metabolism working right away. If you don’t eat in the morning, your metabolism slows because your body thinks it’s in starvation mode. You feel sluggish and irritated because you have no nutrients to get you fired up in the morning.

Try 1/4 Cup Greek Yogurt, 1/4 Cup Non-Fat Milk, 8 Blueberries, 4 – 5 Strawberries, and 1/4 TSP of Honey for a great morning smoothie. Eat with a slice of bread with 1 TBS of Peanut Butter. This 350 calorie breakfast will keep you full and get the metabolism going.

5. Be Strong
Lift weights. Cardio is an extremely important part of exercising. It burns calories and builds a very strong and healthy heart. However, you can reap far more benefits from your cardio workout if you incorporate a good strength training program as well. Lifting weights builds muscle which burns fat. You will burn more fat if you both strength train and do cardio. Ladies, you will not bulk up and look like a guy with strength training. It is healthy and especially necessary for women to prevent osteoporosis.

Remember, start small and work your way up. Don’t get discouraged. Know that making small steps towards a healthy life will result in a big payoff.

The Obesity Stigma

8 Aug

In Harper Lee’s classic novel, “To Kill a Mockingbird,” the beloved character Atticus Finch once said, “You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view–until you climb into his skin and walk around in it.” We all make assumptions about people in society and nearly never consider how it must be from their point of view. I recently had a fairly heated discussion with an individual about obesity.

He claimed all fat people were disgusting, lazy and had given up on life when there’s absolutely no valid reason to ever give up. I pointed out that the vast majority of overweight people were overweight due to much deeper issues beyond laziness. It’s almost never as simple as someone eating too much merely to eat too much. It’s usually a form of coping either with a childhood trauma or a current bad situation such as a failed relationship, death or illness.

I know part of the reason I became so overweight was that I was coping with being depressed over my physical problems as a result of my accident. I had also gone through clinical depression where eating made me feel better. I had given up, but I frankly thought I had good reasons to give up. According to the individual I spoke with, there was never a good reason to give up. Then again, he’s never experienced anything bad in his life such as a long-term illness, death or other loss.

Reality star Kelly Osbourne recently said that she received far more criticism in the press for being overweight than she ever did for her extensive drug and alcohol problem. In our society, it is far worse to be overweight or obese than it is to battle substance abuse. That is a sure sign something is wrong with our society’s values. In what universe should somebody be high and thin as opposed to overweight and sober? Apparently America’s.

It’s taken decades for the stigma of substance abuse to fade only slightly. Although there is still a great deal of shame associated with this illness, it has become much more publicly accepted. Society generally understands substance abuse is a disease that the individual cannot help anymore than a diabetic can help being diabetic.

However, when it comes to obesity, people rarely acknowledge that food addiction is just as real as drug addiction. It is generally thought that an overweight person can just stop eating so much and hit the gym like it was as easy as flipping on a light. Sadly, it is not that simple, but it would help a lot if society became more accepting and willing to help.

Instead of judging overweight friends and neighbors, try walking around in their skin for a while. They want to be thin and healthy, but there are often deep issues stopping that from happening. Offer support rather than criticism. If you’re a gym enthusiast, offer to take them to the gym for some basic exercise instructions. Are you a healthy cook? Share recipes and have them over for dinner to help teach proper nutrition and portion control. Or be there as a listening ear and offer advice.

For people who have never struggled with weight, I suppose it is easy to judge and brush off overweight people as lazy and unmotivated. But for those of us who’ve walked around in their skin for a while, we know all too well, it is never that simple.

Overeaters Anonymous: Finding Help

The Long Road Back

4 Jul

I took my vacation and loved every minute of it. I have no regrets. I ate what I wanted, and I did work out, though not nearly to the level that I’m used to. I considered it a good compromise between letting everything go to hell for two weeks and giving myself a much needed break. Unfortunately, one has to pay for their playing.

I gained 5 pounds from my hopeless addiction to gelato. It’s upsetting, but at the same time, I’m stopping it now before it gets worse, and I know what I need to do to get it off. Am I bummed? Yes, definitely. I’ve never gained weight on vacation before since I usually am so active, but this time I did. But, I don’t regret it. I had fun and really savored all the wonderful foods I had the opportunity to enjoy.

So this week has begun the long road back. I went grocery shopping on Tuesday morning and stocked up on fruits and veggies, chicken and 93% lean ground beef. I bypassed the bakery and the potato chips. I was sick most of the week with a hideously bad cold, but I was finally able to go for a run today. It was my first run in over a week and my first run since returning to high altitude after nearly 3 weeks at sea level. I decided to go to a certain landmark on my running route and turn around. I thought it was around 3.5 miles. I actually ended up doing 5.10 miles in 1:19:23. A very slow time, even for me, but a great first run back especially since I’m still coughing a lot.

I’ve lost 65 pounds, so losing 5 isn’t that daunting, but nevertheless it’s going to take a month or two I think. I tend to lose very slowly. Also, it’s just 3 months until my marathon, so time to crack down my on training schedule and bring ‘er home so to speak. I know I can do it. I just went to Greece, the land where the marathon was invented. If people can run marathons in that country where the heat is extremely oppressive nearly year round, then I can conquer Denver in October.

We all have slip ups and make mistakes, but the important thing is to catch them early and start fixing the problem right away.

Living in a XXL World

29 Mar

ABC News: Living in a XXXL World

I read the above article this morning on ABCNews.com and was somewhat horrified by the end of it. At first, reading that buses were installing more room to accommodate larger passengers and clothing has been slightly adjusted seemed okay. By the end though reading about extra large caskets and toilets, I was in shock.

On one hand, I’m glad these changes are being made. People who are overweight are horribly teased, ostracized and often feel terrible in public because so many things don’t accommodate their size. Sitting in restaurant booths is an issue as are seats in airplanes or public transportation. There are a million reasons why someone is overweight, and very rarely is it because they are lazy or have no desire to be thin. Mostly it’s due to psychological issues and addiction problems. It is a horrible battle that so many struggle with and are constantly fighting, but still lose. And although I never reached the sizes discussed in this article, I do know what it’s like to be discriminated against for my weight. So I was pleased to see that we as a society are trying to accommodate them.

However, on the other hand, I kept thinking, wouldn’t the money be better spent on programs to help people who are overweight. A lot of the reason people can’t seem to break their obesity cycle is either ignorance or financial. They either don’t have a clue where or how to start or cannot afford a gym or trainer. Instead of increasing bus seat sizes, why not use the money to fund low cost health and wellness programs for overweight members of the community? Start spreading the knowledge of how to change your life and improve your health.

Obesity caused illnesses are leading the death rate in America. We need to get this under control as opposed to accommodating it with larger sized seats and clothing. Help people suffering with this disease get the help they need to overcome their issues to live a healthy life. Recognize that it truly is a disease and eating is an addiction. People who are overweight want to be thin just as much as an alcoholic wants to be sober, but many deep seeded issues have to be worked out in order for that to happen.