Posts tagged ‘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. 

read more »

Advertisements
January 2, 2013

Spend Money On Fitness

With the new year come many new fitness resolutions, and this post is about what I think the #1 best way to ensure that fitness resolutions are met: spend a bunch of money on them. more than you really should.

As a graduate student living off loans with plenty of debt from undergrad, I am lacking in the money category. Nevertheless, last week I spent $10 to download Grand Theft Auto 3 (I am terrible at this game and stopped playing because I always killed the prostitutes who I was just trying to drive to the policeman’s ball so they could make some money, perhaps to afford a gym membership). We all throw money around stupidly sometimes.

My gym, with the student discount, is $90 a month. I just switched to it about a month ago. Since I pay $90 a month, the following things are true:

  • I go. Frequently.
  • There are about 15 classes each day, with everything from boxing and spinning to trampoline jumping and yoga.
  • The trainers are nice and helpful (and tell me when I look particularly badass, which I obviously love)
  • They have all the pieces of equipment & gagets I want (including punching bags)
  • They play classical music in the beautiful locker room.
  • There’s a whirlpool AND a sauna
  • The showers at the gym are much nicer than the shower in my apartment
  • The TVs are always playing a few chick-flicks (it’s an all women gym), SVU marathons, and random other things
  • The other people who go to the gym are serious about it, too, so aren’t drinking iced coffee and chewing gum (as previously experienced)
  • I go. Regularly. For all of these different reasons. And I love going.

In all practicality  I cannot afford this gym, but I don’t plan to leave it anytime soon. Exercise makes us much healthier, both in the long and short term. It’s winter in Boston–exercising outside is difficult, and I don’t have the equipment to do preferred strength exercises at home. Spending this much money on a gym ensures regularity for me. Knowing that I will continue to regularly exercise is priceless because healthy people exercise and that’s what I need to be forever and ever.

Fitness is truly is worth spending money on — and it makes us happier and healthier. Wanting to exercise and having a space in which to do it is worth much more than $90 a month. Our own health is, perhaps, the most worthwhile investment there is. When our bodies are strong, they are healthy. Exercise is shown to decrease risk for pretty much every single disease that we don’t wanna get. I’d much rather shell out $90 a month and feel strong and energized than save my money and hate going to a terrible cheap gym so instead and spend time trying to get better at driving prostitutes to the ball in grandly thieved autos. Pay for fitness!

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.

read more »

February 6, 2012

Why Calorie Counting & “Diet” Foods Aren’t Ideal

The breakfast I’m enjoying as I write this has around 250 calories.

This could mean that I’m eating a poptart and some orange juice, 1 serving of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, a donut, or a bowl of oatmeal made with milk.

Calories don’t mean anything.

“250 calories” does not thoroughly explain how my body will respond to the food I’m giving it, yet for so many people, calories are the focus.

Calories are simply a measure of energy, and when we’re talking about food, they represent the amount of energy stored in a food.  Calorie counting as a meal plan suggests that all calories are equal, but our bodies do not at all think that. Our bodies are much more concerned about the nutrients and carb/protein/fat ratios in food, so perhaps we should be, too. It just makes sense to fuel our bodies with attention to how they react to fuel, don’t you think?

Most sources say that our bodies require around 25% of our calories to come from fat, 45% from carbohydrates, and 30% from protein (or close to these ranges). But that’s still “calories from,” as opposed to “grams of”. That’s almost like saying, “to build this house, I need 500 pounds of wood, 30 pounds of nails, and 3 pounds of hammers.” Yes, those items can be measured by their weight, but that’s not really how their measurements are best understood.  I suppose it’s easier to talk about calories since we’re all used to it, but I just think that talking about calories is keeping us from understanding food. 

read more »

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:

read more »

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.

read more »

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.

read more »

September 30, 2011

On Not Running

So many of us who struggle with weight stuff get into this constant mode of “exercise exercise exercise you need to exercise if you want to be healthy GO GO GO It’s good for your body and good for you RUN RUN RUN WHY ARE YOU NOT EXERCISING? Oh, I guess it’s because you’re a lazy butt GO TO THE GYM.

or something

But way more important that exercising, I think, is to listen to your body, and, when this is what your body is telling you: maybe stop running so much in the vibrams.

I’ve got some tendonitis in my pinky-toe foot tendon area, and haven’t been able to run for almost a month now. I’m best friends with my foot doctor, and after the cortisone shot I got on Wednesday and the anti-inflammitories I am poppin’, it should be better within the next week or so, which is great.

My initial frustration with getting injured was very brief, and, to be honest, I was pretty proud of myself for not being a dramatic baby and curling up with a pint (I’m talking ice cream, but if you’re thinking beer, that’s fine, too) & a box of granola on the sofa, taking this as a sign that I was destined for eternal fathood.

read more »

%d bloggers like this: