The Benefits of Keeping the Weight Off

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

Mary took a few minutes the other day to talk about the benefits of keeping the weight off after working so hard to lose it.

So many of the people in her acquaintance have gained back weight after losing it and the statistics show that they are not alone. Keeping the weight off for even one year is extremely unlikely. There are lots of theories about the reasons why, but the fact of the matter is keeping a healthy weight is a lifetime effort. It never ends.

That’s not a bad thing. Every day you can give yourself the gift of healthy food and invigorating exercise. Every day that you skip your planned workout out or decide to “blow it” you are denying yourself the gift of health.

Why Physical Fitness Is Just As Important As Intellectual Training

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

When I was in junior high and high school, I begrudged every hour spent in gym class. I did my best to avoid the “real” gym classes and took the specialty classes like Dance, Jogging, Weight Training, and Swimming. I would complain to any adult willing to listen about the injustice of having to take gym classes. I was a straight A student, shouldn’t I be exempt from gym classes?

The answer I got was: Shut up and quit sloughing gym!

This is the answer that I should have gotten:



How To Raise Large, Healthy Children

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

This article from Salon.com highlights a talk that was given at the National Association to Advance Fat Acceptance (NAAFA) convention this year. Joanne Ikeda gave a talk entitled, “Raising Large, Healthy Kids Who Feel Good About Themselves and Their Bodies.” She is a nutrition educator at the Center for Weight and Health at the University of California at Berkeley.

She is right on the mark as far as how to promote a positive diet in children. I was a fat child who was starved every summer in order to “slim down.” I understand the dangers of making sweets an occasional reward.

Ikeda also cautions against making sweets an occasional reward. She related a story about a Marin County mom who said her daughter had become so obsessed with sweet rewards that she woke up every morning and immediately asked her mother if it was going to be a “junk food day.” Ikeda advised her to reassure the child that from now on, every day would be a junk food day, so she wouldn’t stress about it anymore. In that case, she thinks that giving a child a small treat each day is much better than setting up an obsessive reward response around food.

All of her advice is really down-to-earth and reminds me of the entry that I posted a while back about how to promote a healthy lifestyle in children.

If adults concentrate on their own health and exercise habits, then children will follow along. Almost every little boy wants to be like his dad. If he sees dad going on a run every day, he’s going to want to go along. If he sees his dad eating healthy food at dinner every night, he’s going to eat the same food. That’s how kids grow up to be adults.

Sometimes I think people obsess over their children’s weight because it’s easier than facing the truth in the mirror.

What I Wish I Had Learned In Gym Class

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

Denise Austin - Portrait Photography by Peter KroghI learned more about my body and muscles from Denise Austin than I did in gym class. Why is that? I took a weight training class in high school. Why didn’t I learn the difference between my hamstrings and quads there?

What should I have been learning in gym class? To this day, I’m a little unclear? Was I supposed to be learning the rules to the games that we were forced to play? They didn’t really give us any instruction on that. They just had us choose teams and everyone assumed that we knew the rules. Were we supposed to gaining strength, endurance and balance? If that were the case, why weren’t we tested on that. Even in the weight training class, all we had to do to get an A was attend every day and do one more repetition on our Max Test than we did when we started the class. Even I got an A in Weight Training.

Here’s what I would have liked to learn in gym class:

  • Why physical fitness is just as important as intellectual training.

  • The difference between strength, endurance and balance and why each one is important.

  • All the major muscle groups: the technical names and the abbreviated or nicknames.

  • How to stretch every muscle group in a variety of ways to prevent injury and ease muscle soreness.

  • How to exercise every muscle group to increase strength.

  • The difference between aerobic and anaerobic exercise and why each is important.

  • How to find an exercise that you will enjoy and fits in with your lifestyle.

It would probably take several years to teach all this stuff and the class would never have to choose teams. I used to feel angry that I had to take gym class. I was a straight A student and I felt that sports had no place in our schools. I thought they siphoned off money away from academic pursuits. I had to sell advertisements and candy bars to help fund the Literary Magazine, but the football team was treated to pizza lunches all the time.

Looking at my own mortality and knowing that all the 100% on tests will not give me one more year of life has shown me that physical fitness IS just as important as intellectual pursuits. Now I’m even angrier that I got such poor training in gym classes. It’s a sorry state of education when a straight A student learns the major muscle groups from a television show about aerobics.


Cut Stress–Write!

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

I have been using writing as a way to alleviate stress in my life for years, but it’s nice to know that researchers are trying to understand why it works.

If you are feeling out of control in your life, give yourself an hour and write non-stop. It doesn’t matter if it’s on paper or on the computer. I usually have a goal of writing continuously until I stop feeling like bingeing. If I have to write, “I have nothing to say” over and over, that’s fine, but I usually only have to write it a couple of times before what’s really bugging me comes out on paper. Just giving myself the time and privacy to get my words down on paper is enough to help calm the urges to eat or binge my way through the hard times in life.


Gum Can Help You Lose Weight?

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

According to this PR Newswire article, chewing gum can help prevent holiday weight gain.

This article sites a survey sponsored by Wrigley, a major manufacturer of… yep, gum. You can learn even more benefits of gum chewing here.

There are so many companies out there wanting to sell you their product, promising that it will help you lose weight. The truth of the matter is, that for some people gum DOES help them lose weight. It reminds them that they are not supposed to be eating right now or it satisfies their craving for sweetness. For others, it has no effect.

The connection between weight loss and gum has more to do with the commitment level of the person chewing the gum. The same is true for people who have had success with diet pills, exercise videos or gadgets. Deciding to live a healthy life and to take care of yourself before anyone else is all you need to do. And that’s free.


Underwater Hockey

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

Of all the sports I’ve heard of this is the one that gives me claustrophobia:

Underwater Hockey, where a puck is scuttled across the bottom of the pool and you have to resurface to breathe. The kids who play don’t seem to be affected by the whole “lack of air” thing at the bottom of the pool.

“It’s really easy once you get the hang of it,” said Rademacher, a junior who plays on Roger Bacon High School’s club team.

I feel like slapping this kid on the back:

“I didn’t do sports at all,” said Rademacher, who plays clarinet in the school band. “I tried this out, and it was amazing.”

For me, I think I’ll stick with running, biking and DDR. I’m so competitive that I might just die there at the bottom of the pool rather than let someone else get a goal.

Is Pasta Fattening?

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

I was early to my Weight Watchers meeting and two week-one people were talking to the instructor. She wasn’t my normal leader and I was a little disappointed that I was going to be getting my class from a different instructor. I waited patiently for my class to start and I pulled out my Treo to record my weight for this week. I heard the woman ask the question:

“Is Pasta Fattening?”

I almost laughed. That phrase means nothing to me now. Fattening? What does that mean? I had heard that word so many times in my childhood, and I accepted it as law. Certain foods were “fattening” and others were “okay.” Certain food were “bad” and others were “good.” I believed every judgment my grandma made on foods. If that lady had asked me that question five years ago, I would have nodded my head at her gravely, but now I’m stifling a laugh.

How would I answer that question now?



PostSecret: All I Want To Do

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

PostSecret: All I Want To DoThis secret was posted on PostSecret last Sunday. I could have written it six years ago if you replaced the Reese’s Pieces with Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. There was a time when I had decided to be fat and I didn’t want to deal with any of my emotional issues. I used to spend all day at work just wishing that I could go home, watch TV and eat Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. Some days, I would stay home from work just so I could binge.

Ironically, the decision to just be fat and love myself anyway was the first step toward getting a healthy life. If I had known that I was only a few months away from dragging myself out of the depression, I don’t think I would have binged on the Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups as much. Deciding to love myself and be fabulous, even though I was fat helped drag me out of the pit of depression, but it didn’t happen immediately. It takes a while to learn how to love yourself, but I didn’t know that.

It took even longer for me to join Weight Watchers because I wanted to be healthy. I had decided that I was joining to learn how to eat healthy since I was so confused by all the fad diets out there. I enjoyed it when the pounds slowly melted, but that wasn’t my focus. All I wanted was to be able to live a few extra years on this planet. That didn’t mean that I was finished with bingeing. I was just learning to incorporate my bingeing into a healthy diet.

It wasn’t until a few months ago that I finally learned to kick my bingeing. It took pages and pages of writing out my feelings before I was finally able to realize why I was bingeing and what I needed to give myself to replace it. Now, I could actually imagine a life without Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups without feeling deprived.

This is not a quick fix and it was far from easy for me to give up the bingeing that had served me so well during my childhood. Don’t forget that the first step is deciding to love yourself no matter what. If you do that, then you will be on the road to healing.

For more help on this issue:

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.

FTC Stops Bogus Ads for “Bio Trim” and Other Weight-loss Products

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

The FTC is working hard to keep companies from lying to you. They have required that Bio Trim stop advertising using fantastic claims about being able to lose weight without curbing your diet.

The truth of the matter is for every company the FTC is able to shut down, there are hundreds more jumping up to take their place. Keep this bit of advice in mind next time you’re tempted to spend your money on a diet pill.

“If you see an ad for a weight-loss product making fantastic claims, keep your money in your pocket,” said Lydia Parnes, Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection. “It’s just that – a fantasy. The claims made for Bio Trim were simply not possible. There is no pill that lets you eat all you want and still lose weight.”

All that you need to lose weight is within you right now. You don’t need a diet pill, a fancy gym membership or even a diet magazine. All you need is to decide to live a healthy life and never, never give up on yourself. You can do this and you can do it for free.

Via: Consumer Health Digest, November 8, 2005

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