Ask Laura: I Slipped Up

By Laura Moncur @ 3:48 pm — Filed under:


I slipped up on core 2 days. What should I do? I’m new on this. My weigh-in is Monday.



Start today just like you would if you haven’t slipped up. Because it works so well for me, I would recommend trying the Flex Plan after your Monday weigh-in. Whenever I have a slip up, I make sure I write every bit of food that went into my mouth. That way, I have data to tell me exactly how much is too much.

It took me a few months to realize that I had been limiting my points too strictly, which was causing some of my binges. After looking at my food journal for the last few months, my Weight Watcher leader was able to notice the pattern. We tried raising the number of total Flex Points I eat each week and it stopped a lot of my bingeing. Unless you keep good records, your leader can’t see what’s going on. That’s why I like the Flex Plan better than Core.

Talk to your leader about it tomorrow and ask her/him what is the best thing to do.

You might want to see my entry about what I do when I lose motivation:

I’ve found that taking a few moments and writing it out really helps me.

The most important thing is to not beat yourself up. The fact that you are looking for ways to feel better and fix the problem shows me that you are dedicated and willing to work past this slip up. You’re doing a good job, keep it up!

Laura Moncur


Agave, Tequila and Weight Loss

By Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am — Filed under:

It looks like researchers in Mexico are saying that the agave plant can reduce cholesterol and prevent the absorption of fat in the intestines. Agave is the plant from which tequila is distilled, but the benefits from the plant are supposedly destroyed during the distillation process.

I always look at articles like this with a crinkled brow and folded arms. I want to see the double blind testing for proof. Even then, I want the testing to be replicated by an independent research team. It doesn’t look like they are that far along in the process yet. The most disturbing quote from this article:

“This will benefit the agave farmers more than anyone,” he said. “Prices have collapsed in recent years.”

It looks like they are promoting agave as a weight loss aid in order to boost agave sales. Even if Dr Jorge Segura finds a link between the two, I’m waiting for the repeated results before I believe it. Remember, there are people working day and night to take your money and feed off your insecurities. You don’t need agave or any other type of unproven treatment to lose weight. You have everything you need to lose weight right now.


Mindful Eating: Thich Nhat Hanh

By Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am — Filed under:

There is a meditation exercise in which you place a raisin in your mouth. You do not eat the raisin. You meditate and allow it to sit in your mouth unmolested. The raisin plumps up and becomes a juicy fruitness in your mouth, tempting you to bite it. This is a powerful example of how eating is different when you are truly aware of each morsel.

I have done this with M&Ms. When I only get a tiny amount of candy, I eat it slowly in order to savor it. The candy coating becomes thin shards that poke the roof of my mouth. The chocolate melts and escapes from the candy coating as soon as a crack appears. I never used to eat M&Ms that way. I used to crunch them by the handful, but now I’m more aware of their tasty goodness.

Here is my favorite quote from Thich Nhat Hanh’s entry about Mindful Eating:

“There are some people who eat an orange but don’t really eat it. They eat their sorrow, fear, anger, past, and future.”

How many times have I eaten my sorrow, fear or anger? Too many to count. Even now, I am still learning to just eat the food instead of eating my emotions. I hope to master this someday.


How To Get The Most Out of Your Heart Rate Monitor

By Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am — Filed under:

Timex 1440 Sports Personal Heart Rate Monitor 54212 I have an old Timex heart rate monitor that has lasted me forever. It works as well as any other heart rate monitor. The only problem is that I wouldn’t get an accurate reading until I was dripping with sweat. I finally found something to get an accurate reading from the moment I put it on.

A heart rate monitor is a great tool to measure your intensity during a workout, but most of the time, you can tell if you’re working out too hard. If you have a heart rate monitor, by all means, use it. If you don’t, no problem. Don’t let the lack of gadgets get in the way of getting out the door and getting some activity into your life.


Water Tips

By Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am — Filed under:

They say that we all need 6 to 8 glasses (48 to 64 ounces) of water every day to be healthy. I’ve never had a problem drinking that much water, but I have heard a lot of people complain that they are having trouble “getting their water in.” Here are a couple of tips to make sure you get enough:

  • Every morning I start the day with a trip to the restroom and a full glass of water. I’m always thirsty when I first wake up, so drinking a glass of water is the first thing on my mind.

  • I like to have a glass of water with each meal and snack. That’s a total of five glasses of water.

  • I like to drink water when I exercise; usually a glass before and a glass afterward.

  • Use a bottle that measures four glasses (32 ounces). I like to use a Gatorade bottle. I only need to drink two bottles of water to fulfill my water for the day.

Whether that much water in necessary to aid weight loss is still debatable. I know that I feel more full when I make sure I drink enough water. That is all I need to know to keep doing it.


PostSecret: Eating and TV

By Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am — Filed under:

Eating and TV

So many of these PostSecret entries hit home for me. There was a time when I knew I had chosen the wrong path. I didn’t really see a way out, so I finished up my worthless college degree. During that time, I gained about thirty to forty pounds. I didn’t step on a scale the entire time because I was so stressed out trying to finish student teaching, but I think I gained about thirty pounds during that time.

The only entertainment that I allowed myself was taped episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation. I might have felt better if I had exercised or cleaned up the apartment, but instead, I zoned out in front of the television. That was a really hard time in my life.

How did I get out? How did I find a life full of joys other than food and TV?



Ramadan Starts Tomorrow

By Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am — Filed under:

For those of you of the Islamic Faith, Ramadan starts tomorrow. Traditional practice includes fasting during the hours between dawn and sunset. Sexual activity during those hours is also refrained from. Smoking is restricted for the duration of the observance. There are two meals a day, Suhur, which is a meal before daybreak and Iftar, the meal eaten as soon after sunset as possible. In essence the fast sacrifices one meal a day.

You don’t need to be Islam to follow the practice of Ramadan. You don’t need read the entire Qur’an during the month in order to devote yourself to healthier living. If you are anxious about the upcoming holidays of overindulgence, here is another practice that urges you to live a better life. Choose which practices you feel you wish to follow until November 3rd, when Ramadan ends. By then, you may have found a new healthy habit that can stay with you all year.

Beliefnet.com – Ramadan Primer


Exertainment in elementary schools

By Michael Moncur @ 6:00 am — Filed under:

We’ve written quite a bit here about how games like Dance Dance Revolution are good for exercise. Now one California school district is testing a pilot program that adds “exertainment” to their PE curriculum with Playstation games like DDR.

I’m not sure I would have appreciated being forced to “dance” in public in elementary school, but if things like this were done right they’d be a great way of making exercise fun for kids. I hope this idea catches on in other schools.


The Biggest Loser

By Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am — Filed under:

The Biggest LoserIn the fiction book, Thinner Than Thou, there are television shows and secret fat porn shops where the starving masses can look at fat people. Jumbo Jigglers is like a strip club where fat people undress for the dieting and exercising minions. I always am shocked when I realize that reality has gotten one step closer to the horrible fiction that was portrayed in Thinner Than Thou.

I have just read a synopsis of an episode of The Biggest Loser (TVgasm – Biggest Loser: The Bigger They Are…). In this episode, the victims (excuse me, contestants) are tortured with a choice. They are left in a room with their favorite treats and a letter from their estranged family members. If they eat the treats, they get to read the letter. None of the contestants eat the food. None of them are allowed to read their letters. This is supposed to teach them to deal with treats in the “real world.”


This show is about torture. This show tortures the victims without teaching them any valuable lessons. I can see the symbolism of the letters and the food. Sometimes we all are in situations where we need to politely tell loved ones that we love them, even though we’re not going to eat the rugula today. Instead of giving these people lessons to be assertive with their loved ones, they torture them and make them choose between health and family. Real life isn’t like that. Never once have I been locked in a room with my favorite food and a letter that is withheld unless I eat.

Watch out! Do you know who the primary sponsor of this television show is? 24 Hour Fitness. I’m ashamed to have a membership if these are the methods that they approve. Remember, there are companies everywhere that are trying to profit from your insecurities. Adopting a healthy lifestyle doesn’t require magic powders, expensive books or health club memberships.

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