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Posts Tagged ‘diet’

I recently had a discussion with someone who has tried a few times to get into an exercise routine/healthy eating pattern, and always got impatient as far as seeing results. This person also maintained that they never enjoyed it, always felt sore no matter what, and it always felt like a boring chore to them. This person also has a large appetite and gets hungry often, and tends to overeat. This person is not terribly overweight, but very out of shape.

Results don’t come overnight, and sometimes it can be several months before a person starts to see the changes in their body. I think others often notice before the individual does. When you see yourself in the mirror every single day, it can be hard to realize that your body is indeed changing. I for one never thought I’d be dysmorphic about my own body, but for months after I first started I saw the same ole’ fatty in the mirror when other people were noticing visible changes in my physiology. Even recently people are noticing things before I do (namely the fact that I’m starting to have defined hips, etc. and becoming more height-weight proportional).

I asked this person what they did, if they stretched, etc. I came to the conclusion based on their answers that they had thrown themselves into a very rigorous and intense routine too fast, that they weren’t stretching or doing anything else to help sore muscles (hot baths, ice, etc.), and choosing activities that they found inherently boring. This person also hates standing up for long periods of time and maintains that they always get sore no matter what. I had a counter-argument for every excuse this person threw at me, and the conversation got frustrating for both of us so we decided to change the subject. But I ended my points with this person by saying that there has got to be a way for them to eventually find being active enjoyable. It will help this person’s longevity, give them more energy every day, and be beneficial in a huge number of ways. To this person’s credit, they get frustrated with themselves because they know the health benefits of being active, but they feel so helpless about actually applying it to themselves.

So I guess the point of this was to say that people who are new to exercise and out of shape need to ease into a routine. Walking is a great way to start…it’s the first physical exercise most of us learned how to do as toddlers. It can start out slow and go fast. I still do it a lot, I don’t do too much running because of some leg pain I tend to get, but you can burn as many calories power-walking if you do it fast enough, without near the impact of running. Furthermore, stretching is essential. There are a ton of websites out there that can show through pictures and tell you how to properly stretch all your major muscle groups. It’s best to have a bit of a warm-up, stretch, then work out, take a stretch break in the middle (I notice a huge difference when I don’t do this), then cool down and stretch again after the workout. Once the body adapts to regular, mild physical activity, kick it up a notch gradually until you’re used to more strenuous activity.

Exercise is important, but if your diet is craptastic, it’s not going to give you enough health benefits. Some people’s taste buds are so corrupted by junk food that it’s easy to find the taste of healthy stuff “bland” at first because your taste buds are so used to being bombarded by way too much sugar, salt, and trans fats. I highly suggest for people who are having dietary challenges that are blocking them from weight-loss, health improvement, or both to read a great book called If It’s Not Food, Don’t Eat It: The No-Nonsense Guide to an Eating-for-health Lifestyle by Kelly Hayford, a clinical nutritionist. Hayford puts it all forth in a very non-threatening and straightforward way. One thing I respect about it is that she doesn’t preach any dogmatic diet-style (veganism or raw foodism for example) but more discusses the benefits of switching to mostly real, whole foods as opposed to processed stuff. She also discusses how to handle your lifestyle change around family and friends, and the psychological aspects of such a diet change. She has stories of real people and the dramatic, personal changes that happened for them from changing their diet.

To maintain a healthy body weight and good health in general, it is absolutely essential that a person is both physically active AND eats right. The end.

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So I thought about this. Once I reach my goal weight (31 more pounds to go!), I’ll have to change the name of this blog to, “Amy Lost and Won,” or something like that. Or I could just change it to a name that reflects the topics I like to focus on, which are not limited to simply weight loss or the fatness of our society. I’m not sure. I suppose I have 31 more pounds of time to think about it, though. 🙂

More people keep noticing how small I’m getting. I’m still asked the dreaded, “what have you been doing?” question, as if my answer is going to be a magic, easy solution. I’m tempted to start saying, “I’ve been doing the ‘Don’t Be A Dumbass’ diet,” just to see how people would react. I’ll have to replace the word “dumbass” with something more PC if I’m to use this response while I’m at work. It’s really liberating, though, to admit that I ate too much. People always want to tiptoe around that fact with fat people, the fact that they eat too much and usually the wrong things for a human body to be able to process.

So the economy is shit-tastic, and people are getting angrier and angrier that the things that happened to create this crisis (like huge bonuses to executives who are already sickeningly rich) are still happening. People are also going to start cutting back and being more frugal. Some people may even be eating healthier by default, and having less purchasing power they’ll be eating less. Will the one positive side effect of this horrible financial crisis be less obesity? It sucks that it has to come to this for people to stop being so fat. Actually, no, the other positive effects I hope will happen is that people will start to re-evaluate their personal ethics and values, and maybe become less greedy. The fat-cats on Wall Street will most likely remain greedy scumfucks, but the rest of us I think will hopefully learn that values like love and respect for other people trumps the desire for the newest car or the biggest house. Hopefully people will slow down and relax more with their families and have more quality time with people they love, and learn to be rich in other ways besides financially.

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The title of this article is amusing to me: “Sneaky ways to cut 100 calories…” click here to be sneaky! I found the tips to be more common sense than anything. Just like the 20 Worst Foods in America link from Men’s Health, you have to click on each item on the list to see the tips. Honestly, I prefer black coffee these days. I used to load mine down with cream and sugar until I acquired a taste to the unadulterated beans. Now I can’t stand sweetened or flavored coffee. Also, it’s nice to know that my daily cup of joe is good for me. 🙂

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Men’s Health magazine has compiled a list of the 20 worst foods in America as far as caloric, fat, and sodium content. You can see it here . It’s the red list on the left, and you have to click on each individual item to see the info about it. I wasn’t very surprised, honestly. Most things you get at a restaurant are “fully loaded” and many of the appetizers contain enough calories to make up at least a few meals. I do appreciate how they included an alternative you could get at whatever eating establishment the entrees and appetizers came from that would be better for you. I’m intrigued by the book Eat This, Not That , and would love to check it out sometime. I’m sure a lot of it is common sense, but I’m always interested to read these things.

Speaking of knowing how loaded with gunk your food is, New York City passed legislation that requires restaurants and other food vendors to post the caloric content of all their foods. People reacted both with relief and disdain. Check it! Check out the quotes from people who would rather remain in denial about what they’re eating. I can’t really understand this whole mentality of, “what you don’t know can’t hurt you.” Like not knowing that your Starbucks mocha-choka latta-haha frou-frou drink has 8 bajillion calories will magically make it so that it doesn’t and that drinking 5 of them a day will not make your ass fat. My Nana has this joke that the last bite of your food has the most calories in it, so leaving a few bites behind will save you from the massive calories. She is, of course, joking, but I’m bemused to see that people actually believe in that sort of denial. I was especially blown away by the woman wanting to trade menus with the other woman who’s menu didn’t have the calorie information on it yet. The stupid, it burns!

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