Minnesota State University Dedicated to High Tech Exertainment

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

This is a story from Associated Press about how Minnesota State University is encouraging fitness on their campus.

The university has outifitted their exercise gear with computer/entertainment systems where the students can do homework, surf the web or watch television while on the exercise machines. It looks like a little awkward setup based on the picture, but having to stretch a little to reach the keyboard is better than boredom.

Speaking from experience, it’s much easier for me to finish my workout when I can watch a movie, television or listen to music. The time seems to fly by quickly compared to those times when all I am left with are my own thoughts.


Teen Training Camp

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

This is a Salon.com article about a teen training camp called Wellspring. Five years ago, it would have been called a fat camp, but Wellspring wants the emphasis to be on the training aspect. They imagine that they are training these teenagers to have a “healthy obsession” with food.

As an overweight child and teen, I’m pretty bugged by Katharine’s attitude toward overweight teenagers:

“I did meet shy kids, who seemed as if they’d be a lot more comfortable alone in front of a computer screen than with their peers. But I also met major social alphas and super-extroverted comedians, who sang and rapped and joked. It may be time for the stereotype of the overweight social outcast to get a big fat makeover.”

She was amazed that teenagers could be overweight and popular. She was amazed that one of the campers was a cheerleader back home. She was amazed that these kids didn’t fit her narrow stereotype of what overweight means. Most importantly, she couldn’t resist saying the phrase “big fat makeover.”

Since I was an overweight teenager, I look at the entire experience differently. Take Lily, the only camper there with the “kahunas” to tell the truth about her situation:

“My mom is embarrassed about the way I look,” says Lily, who weighed 170 pounds when she came to camp and at five feet, five inches is supposed to weigh between 119 and 149 pounds according to the BMI. “She’s afraid I’ll keep gaining weight. She doesn’t want an obese kid, because no one will be my friend and no one will talk to me, and I’ll be really unhappy.”

The truth of the matter is I bet most of those kids are there against their will. They are fantasizing about Pringles and milk and beef and chicken because this is an externally instituted change. The only lasting change must come from within. Unless those kids want to get thin and healthy, throwing money at an “adventure” camp won’t do a thing for them.

Every summer when I came out from under the strict regime of my grandparents and went back home to my parents, I binged. I ate things just because I had been denied them for so long. I binged during those summers, too. I saved up all my allowance money and spent it on the highest calorie food I could. I don’t think these fat camps are helpful to teenagers who are sent to them, only teenagers who beg to go.

Western Wellspring Adventure Weight Loss Camp for Teens in California

Via: Boing Boing: Weight-loss camp demands obsessive measurement


PostSecret: Blame It On The Weight

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

PostSecret: Blame It On The Weight

Why do people gain the weight back? Part of the reason is that they blame so many things on their weight that really have nothing to do with it. They finally get to goal and their life still sucks, so they give up on their health.

The best advice Seventeen Magazine ever gave me was “Fake It Until You Make It.” It told me to think about how I would be like if I was thin instead of fat and act that way now. Do all the things that I would do if I was at my goal weight. They urged me not to put my life on hold until I lose the weight. It was good advice because it took me over twenty years to finally get to a healthy weight. My entire life would have been on hold if I hadn’t taken their advice.

Think about what life will be like for you when you get to goal. Will you be more confident and outgoing? Then work on those skills right now. Stand up straight and look people in the eye. Introduce yourself. You’re a great person who is worth getting to know. Give people the opportunity.

Will you be more secure and happy with your life? Then act like that right now. Breathe deeply in the knowledge that you have a wonderful life. Act as if you are safe and protected. Enjoy all the little things that DID go right with your day. Enjoy the blessings that you have right now.

Get a clear image of how you imagine life to be when you are at your goal weight and work on creating that in your life right now. Then you’ll be able to avoid re-gaining after you finally do get to your goal weight. By then, your life will really be as good as you imagined it to be.

PostSecret‘s beneficiary is the National Hopeline Network. It is a 24-hour hotline (1 (800) SUICIDE) for anyone who is thinking about suicide or knows someone who is considering it.


Diet Book Review: The No Fad Diet

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

American Heart Association No-Fad Diet : A Personal Plan for Healthy Weight LossI finally got my hands on a copy of The No Fad Diet from the American Heart Association. It is probably the most realistic diet book you could purchase. It’s based on the trinity of thoughts: Think Smart, Eat Well, and Move More.

Think Smart - Eat Well - Move More The great thing about this philosophy is that you can start anywhere in this cycle and it will affect your decisions about the other facets of health. If you start with Think Smart, you will start to eat healthier and exercise more. If you start with Move More, your head with get in a healthier spot and you’ll want to fuel yourself with better food. If you start with Eat Well, you’ll get the energy to get out there and move more and you’ll feel better. It’s like a cycle that perpetuates itself if you can just jump in there somewhere.



A Workout That Will Kick Your Butt

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

Last week, I went to the gym for my workout. I’ve been using the treadmill pretty heavily, so I wanted a workout that worked some different muscles. I chose the upright exercise bikes. My gym owns the Life Fitness exercise bikes, which have a workout called “Random.” I chose that workout and set the bike to my usual level.

I really wanted a hard workout, though, so I decided to kick it up a notch. Every time the random line of dots was seven dots or higher, I would stand up in the saddle. The Life Fitness bikes aren’t like the spinning class bikes. It’s VERY difficult to stand up in the saddle because the pedals won’t support your weight. I needed to concentrate very carefully to keep my movements from being jerky.

While I was standing up in the saddle, I repeated the word “Smooth” to myself over and over so that I would keep good form during this difficult time. I would also keep my eye on the clock and count down the last five seconds.

The standing up sessions were as short as 10 seconds, but never longer than 50 seconds. My heart rate got higher than I should have let it, but it kept my interest on the workout. I had already chosen a level that was difficult for me. Standing up in the saddle made it the major workout of my week.

Try this workout and see how it feels to you. It made my 40 minutes fly by and I felt so energized after it.


Clinical Description of Binge Eating

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

There is a new weblog devoted to combating stress, depression and addiction. It has a really catchy name: Treatment Online Public Blog. They had an entry about binge-eating in honor of Thanksgiving.

If you fall into the clinical category of Binge Eating as described by the DSM IV, it is recommended that you seek treatment. I was grateful to notice that I don’t even fall into that category anymore. What a wonderful thing to be thankful for this season. I’m smiling inside to know that I am no longer a binge eater.

Dealing with Post-Thanksgiving Temptation

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

So, you ate really well on Thanksgiving. You were able to avoid that horrible stomach-stretching fullness that can knock a strong man down for the count on the couch. Maybe you even ate so healthy that you feel a little deprived. Maybe you planned exactly what you wanted, worked it into your weekly plan. You did a great job!

Now, you feel like eating everything in sight!

You don’t understand it. You did so well on the holiday, but you are continually being called by the leftovers in the refrigerator. Or maybe the food court at the mall is calling to you stronger than you’ve ever heard it before. Or maybe you can’t stop thinking about that pie you DIDN’T eat.

Whatever it is, if you feel tempted, read on…



I Blew It On Thanksgiving! Now What?

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

Maybe you had a plan and threw it all out the window. Maybe you didn’t plan for it and just thought you wouldn’t have any trouble. Maybe you decided to overeat before you even smelled the turkey. It doesn’t matter. You think you blew it and you’re here.

Guess what…

You didn’t blow it.



Thanksgiving Calorie List

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

Here is a list of the common foods that are found on the Thanksgiving table every year. Use this list to calculate what you cannot live without this year and work the total calories into your day. You can celebrate this holiday without guilt and without deprivation. All it takes is a little planning.

  • Turkey, light meat with skin – 1 cup/140 grams – 276 calories – 12 g fat – 0 g fiber
  • Turkey, light meat without skin – 1 cup/140 grams – 220 calories – 5 g fat – 0 g fiber
  • Turkey, dark meat with skin – 1 cup/140 grams – 309calories – 16 g fat – 0 g fiber
  • Turkey, dark meat without skin – 1 cup/140 grams – 262calories – 10 g fat – 0 g fiber

  • Ham – 1 cup/140 grams – 231 calories – 11 g fat – 0 g fiber

  • Cranberry Sauce – 1 slice (1/2″ thick/8 slices a can) – 86 calories – 0 g fat – 1 g fiber

  • Gravy – 1 cup – 121 calories – 5 g fat – 1 g fiber

  • Baked Potato – 1 large – 278 calories – 0 g fat – 7 g fiber
  • Mashed Potatoes (prepared with whole milk) – 1 cup – 174 calories – 1 g fat – 3 g fiber
  • Mashed Potatoes (prepared with whole milk & butter) – 1 cup – 237 calories – 9 g fat – 3 g fiber

  • Bread Stuffing – 1/2 cup – 178 calories – 9 g fat – 3 g fiber
  • Cornbread Stuffing – 1/2 cup – 179 calories – 9 g fat – 3 g fiber

  • Winter Squash – 1 cup – 76 calories – 1 g fat – 6 g fiber
  • Corn – 1/2 cup – 66 calories – 1 g fat – 2 g fiber

  • Green Beans – 1 cup – 41 calories – 0 g fat – 3 g fiber
  • Green Bean Casserole – 3/4 cup – 165 calories – 10 g fat – 2 g fiber

  • Yams – 1 cup – 158 calories – 0 g fat – 5 g fiber
  • Candied Yams – 3/4 cup – 335 calories – 9 g fat – 3 g fiber

  • Apple Pie – 1 piece (1/8th of a 9″ diameter) – 296 calories – 14 g fat – 2 g fiber
  • Cherry Pie – 1 piece (1/8th of a 9″ diameter) – 325 calories – 14 g fat – 1 g fiber
  • Coconut Creme Pie – 1 piece (1/8th of a 7″ diameter) – 143 calories – 8 g fat – 1 g fiber
  • Pecan Pie – 1 piece (1/6th of a 8″ diameter) – 452 calories – 21 g fat – 4 g fiber
  • Pumpkin Pie – 1 piece (1/6th of a 8″ diameter) – 229 calories – 10 g fat – 3 g fiber

  • Vanilla Ice Cream – 1/2 cup – 145 calories – 8 g fat – 1 g fiber
  • Vanilla Frozen Yogurt – 1/2 cup – 117 calories – 4 g fat – 0 g fiber
  • Whipped Cream – 1/2 cup – 177 calories – 7 g fat – 0 g fiber
  • Whipped Topping (non-dairy) – 1/2 cup – 83 calories – 5 g fat – 0 g fiber

All calorie listings from:

Here is a handy program to calculate the calories of your meal:

You have the power to have a healthy and satisfying Thanksgiving. There is no reason for guilt or deprivation. With planning, you can have your favorites in controlled portions and pass by the foods that you don’t really crave in favor of them. You can do this.


How To Enjoy Thanksgiving Without Guilt

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

I can hear that voice in the back of your head. You think that it’s only one day. You think that it’s okay to gorge yourself, just this one day. There’s that other voice there, too, though. It’s saying that you don’t want to give up on your dreams, AGAIN. What do you listen to? If you eat like you’ve always done on Thanksgiving, then you’ll feel guilty for giving up on your dreams. If you diet like it’s January First, then you’ll miss out on all the fun. There’s no way to win, right?



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