Archive for ‘Weight Loss’

January 17, 2013

Brain Window on Stress & Eating

plannerAs I was starting to write my assignments in my planner (all color coded) and was thinking, “oh, this might be another challenging semester–hope I can keep my food consumption under control,” I had a bit of a brain awakening: I might not be able to control my assignments or how much time I have to spend on school, but if I control my food and eat the quality things all of the time, I will feel way better, physically and mentally, and be able to better tackle the semester.

This seems very straight forward, I know. As I wrote in an earlier post, this is the first time I have been a student and also been a healthy person. I had 22 years of conditioning myself this way: lots of school work, lots of stress, eat ice cream and cereal and you’ll be able to escape from the stressful world for just a few moments. Whenever I’ve been in school, school has come first, so now prioritizing my health above my school work doesn’t come as naturally as I wish it did.

Don’t get me wrong: I wasn’t eating total crap all of last semester, but I also wasn’t eating totally perfectly. Not that total perfection is the goal, but I know I can do much better than I did last semester. On weeks when I hardly had time to sleep or get to the gym, I didn’t eat as well as I would have liked. Then, since I had already “messed up” my eating plan, I just continued down that path until there was a clear re-start (i.e. new day or new week). If I had eaten well, I would have been more energized and probably been able to get to the gym and sleep, too. When I eat stupid foods, I am sluggish, grumpy, self-doubting, and constantly thinking “how and when will I knock this stupid binge eating thing?” and am therefore not able to perform at my best level. I’ve gotta eat smart so I can get the most out of every day and enjoy every day. 

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February 19, 2012

The Strength Part of the Gym Is Not Male Exclusive

Sometimes I do weird stuff in the gym. I stare (to learn new moves), I make badass psycho faces (to amp myself up), and I mouth the words to almost every single song I listen to (because it’s fun). But today, I think my weirdness reached a new level: I walked around the gym and counted people.

There were 27 people doing cardio work. 20 of them were women.

There were 19 people doing strength training. 2 of them were women.

Are men & women really that different that our bodies require completely different forms of exercise? Absolutely not.

I watch a lot (read: all) of The Biggest Loser for a number of reasons, and something that I have been recently paying attention to is that the workouts that the trainers put the men & women through are essentially the same. You don’t see Bob screaming, “Ladies–ellipticals! Men–squat presses!”.

I’m not a fitness professional, but it’s easy to see that both strength work and cardio work are crucial for fitness. Strength work  builds muscle, and cardio work uses muscle — they balance each other out. If your muscles are stronger, they’ll be more effective during cardio.

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January 4, 2012

Thoughts on An Atlanta Childhood Obesity Awareness Campaign

I believe that obese children (word up to my people) are a very unfortunate by-product of a society that is totally uneducated as to how to take care of the human body, and that, without question, our society needs to be shaken in order to do SOMETHING big to counteract childhood obesity so that each consecutive generation isn’t more removed from their health than the previous one.

Standard disclaimer sentence that I have no relevant degrees or letters after my name–I just google things & think about them.

Check this out: Grim Childhood Obesity Ads Stir Critics (The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

Or, if you don’t want to (you should), here’s a taste of the Ad Campaign (I have a hard time calling it an “Ad”) that Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta:

This is why I find childhood obesity incredibly frightening & concerning:

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January 2, 2012

On Making 2012 About Health, Not Weight

I am conflicted over the fact that getting healthier comes with a huge emphasis on the scale, so as many people look at their new years resolutions with aims to get healthier, I wanted to write something to hopefully get everyone thinking about where they want their goals to lie.

Last year, before LLH existed, I guest posted on my friend (and former babysitter’s!) blog, and now, since I’m in the re-committing to the blogging process and am still pretty busy getting my life in order/organizing post-move, I thought I’d plagarize from Past-Sarah, with some edits & added thoughts. Hopefully it’s not so jambled — honestly, this is me trying to put up a good Welcome 2012 Post without all of the work… baby steps to becoming a regular poster again! 

I’ve done this weight loss thing from two different angles, and am going to tell my story again, in hopes that it will help others get a healthy & maintainable mindset from the start of their New Year.

As I’ve written before, on January 8 of 2006, at 305+ pounds and 19 years old, I went for a 12 mile walk all around my town. I was sick of my fatness defining me, and I wanted to get rid of it as fast as I could. And I’m a determined person, once I decide to take action, so for 5 months, I hardly ate (except after weighing-in, when I would stuff my face in celebration) and I exercised like a madwoman. I hit my goal of losing 10 pounds a month for 5 consecutive months. I was hungry, I was tired, but I was happy to overlook that because the scale was going down as quickly as I thought it should.

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October 18, 2011

We’re All Going To Overcome Binge Eating.

Today, somebody googled the phrase, “I have no hope to overcome binge eating,” and consequently broke my heart.

Their google search brought them to the binge eating post i wrote a while back, so hopefully they were able to see all of your comments on that post & realize that binge eating is something with which many of us struggle.

I need to write about this all again. Binge eating definitely continues to be one of the main reasons that I’m not in size 6 pants quite yet. I’ll try not to get all insightful and reflective, but I’ve been in a very introspective place recently, so I’m not making any promises.

The only things that we have direct, immediate control over are ourselves. That’s it. We control how we treat ourselves, how we view ourselves, and how we present ourselves to the world, and other variations on those concepts.

What we eat is 100% in our control. Yes, media, peer pressure, emotions, etc, can influence what we WANT to eat, but when it comes down to it, we’re in control of how we treat our bodies.

Our bodies are the one thing that are with us throughout our whole lives. And, with the exception of terrible random health issues or tragedies, we completely control their ability to function. So, by controlling our bodies, we are in control of the way that we go through life. Shouldn’t our priority, then, be ensuring that our bodies are functioning in the best possible way so that we can go through life in the best way possible?

Did I lose focus yet?

When we binge eat, we’re letting an issue unrelated to our body’s physical wellness influence our body’s physical wellness. That sucks.

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September 27, 2011

On Balancing Work, Self, and Healthiness

Yesterday, for the first time since April or so, I found the bottom of my work inbox. 

Also, for the first time in just about as long, I’m back on weight watchers and trying not to accidentally eat all of the food.

Probably a good thing, right? (that would be my weight tracking chart thing. as you can see, well. whoops)

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August 29, 2011

Thanks for the wisdom, Knee Doctor

I am too fat to be a runner and I should swim instead.

That’s what the sports medicine knee doctor told me. The man I had to wait a month to see. The man I am sure I will have to pay a bajillion dollars for the twelve minutes of his time that I got.

“You’re built like a swimmer,” he says, “maybe a triathloner. Runners are about 110 pounds.”

Yeah, I sure see a lot of fat swimmers and triathloners–they’re all over the place! It’s a miracle that I didn’t stab this man, let alone curse him out.

“Well, I started running when I was 260 pounds,” I say, to show that, while I am fat, I could be fatter. “I build up slowly, in a smart way. And I get the pain when I cycle, too.”

“You’ve lost some weight. You’re doing too much, too fast. You have to stop pushing yourself. Cross training is good.”

He’s such a brilliant man. I should open up a sports medicine branch with my associate, Google.

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June 23, 2011

How To De-Arse One’s Head

I’d say that, for the vast majority of the spring, I had my head up my arse and my mind on the next bingey trip I’d take to whole foods to “have salad bar for dinner,” which we all know means a massive amount of somewhat healthy food, followed by a pint of ice cream for dessert, and probably one of those mini loaves (“single serve” or whatever) of cornbread for an “appetizer,” which I would enjoy on the walk from Whole Foods to my apartment. I got to that “food is my vice — I can’t help it” mode of thought, and, despite continuing my (somewhat excellent) exercise regimen, I’d rarely have two binge-free days in a row. I wasn’t really tracking my food or really even aware of the quantity of extra food I was eating. It wasn’t exactly surprising that clothes were becoming tight (which is a bit of a problem, since I’d been giving my clothes away the moment they got too big), but I have to admit that when I got on the scale and saw that I had gained back SEVENTEEN pounds, I was kind of shocked. I mean, I guess a box of granola isn’t a smart late night snack when dinner was a bag of chips & pile of guacamole….?

Yup, this is one of those posts that, as I’m writing, I’m thinking, “holy crap, Sarah–you really want to share this with the world?!”. But I do, because I know that these thoughts/head issues are not ones that only I have. So I’ll continue to share, with hopes that what I write is not only for my benefit.

I was waiting for something to click in my head so that I would stop with the excessive, uncontrolled eating. I figured that it was just some phase I was in, and that it would eventually pass and I would feel in control of myself again soon. But then I remembered thinking the EXACT same thing just about every day on my way up to 300+ pounds. So, rather than waiting for something to click, I forced the click. Fake ’til you make it, right?

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