Parents Underestimate Child Obesity

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

Childhood Obesity picture via Eric SchneiderSomething about this article doesn’t sit right for me.

I think it’s this line of reasoning.

While most parents agree childhood obesity is a major health issue, many underestimate their own children’s weight and fail to take corrective steps to manage weight gain. Without intervention, childhood obesity can take a hefty toll on a person’s life-long health.

“It is critical to address obesity in the childhood years – at home, and in schools and other community settings,” says Matthew M. Davis, M.D., M.A.P.P., director of the National Poll on Children’s Health. “But in order to address childhood obesity at home, parents must first recognize that a child is not at a healthy weight for their height. Parents also must be concerned enough to want to do something about their children’s obesity.”

I don’t believe parents should restrict their children’s diet. Every summer from the age of nine until seventeen, my grandmother placed me on a restrictive diet. I’ve written before about how misperceived my grandmother was about my obesity (or lack of it). The honest truth is that I don’t think parents should try to help their child lose weight. They should lead by doing. If the parents eat healthy, the children will follow along. I’ve written about this before as well:

In the end, it bothers me that doctors are wasting money on these kind of studies and not working on figuring out what is making us fat in the first place.

Via: Teens and Their Parents May Underestimate a Weight Problem


Body Image Is Stronger Predictor Of Health Than Obesity

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

To all those health insurance companies that want to charge people with high BMIs more money, maybe they should read this finding.

Researchers at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health found that the desire to weigh less was a more accurate predictor of physically and mentally unhealthy days, than body mass index (BMI).

It turns out that if you are unhappy with your weight and wish you weighed less, you tend to take more sick days and have more doctor visits than the people who are happy with their current weight. Whether you are content with your body weight is more of an indicator of health than your BMI.

What does this mean to you? Does that mean you should stop trying to eat healthy and keep up with an exercise regime? No. It just means that Inner Workouts are as essential as diet and exercise. This journey takes your MIND and your BODY on a roller coaster ride, so take care of yourself both physically and mentally.

Via: Rudd Sound Bites: Body Image as a Predictor of Health


Get Into That Swimsuit This Summer: Week 1

By Laura Moncur @ 2:44 pm — Filed under:

Shape fx Slimming square-neck tank suit at Amazon.comEach week, I will give you step by step instructions on how to get into a swimsuit this summer. If you’re short on time, scroll down to the end and read “The Short Version” to get your weekly tips.

Even though you might have a foot of snow outside your door, NOW is the time to get ready for swimsuit season. It will take you a few weeks to get swimsuit ready, so you MUST start now if you are going to be on the beach or at the pool this summer vacation.

This week’s job is probably the hardest job you’ll have this entire program. Before next Wednesday, you must buy a swimsuit.

I know it’s freezing cold outside and you can’t even think about wearing a swimsuit right now, but the stores have just got their swimsuits in stock. You MUST shop NOW if you want your choice of the best. If you wait until two weeks before your vacation, all you will have to choose from are the swimming suits that no one else wanted. Even though you have to wear a coat, boots and gloves to the store, go shopping for your swim suit RIGHT NOW.

What if I lose weight between now and summer?

Then you DESERVE to buy a new suit. Plus, suits are VERY forgiving. If you lose a little weight, it will still fit, believe me. If you lose a lot of weight, then you will happily try on the dregs of the swimsuits left over because you’ll be that much thinner.

What should I buy?

There are lots of styles of suits out there. My most important recommendation is to buy a suit that feels comfortable. If you don’t feel comfortable in the dressing room with no one watching, then you’re certainly not going to feel comfortable when you are at the pool or in the hot tub.

Aqua Sarong at Amazon.comIn addition to your swim suit, look for a sarong or coverup that matches your suit. I want you to feel like an island princess with your suit and your sarong together. You might need to walk from your car to the pool or beach and I want you to feel comfortable. Imagine that you are bone thin and beautiful. If you were wearing your suit and sarong, would you be able to run into the grocery store to pick up some sunscreen before you headed out to the pool? I want you to feel like you’re modestly covered up and a little sexy all at the same time.

Why bother?

I don’t know about you, but too many summers of lost opportunities have gone by for me. I refused to participate in activities that I really wanted because I was “too fat.” Honestly, if I had found a swimsuit that I loved and enjoyed, I might have been more willing to participate.

If I had lived with that attitude my whole life, there are a myriad of wonderful experiences that I would have never had, like snorkeling in Hawaii.

Back in 2002, we went to Hawaii. I had just started Weight Watchers, but it was before I ever lost any weight. If I had let my discomfort with a swimsuit bother me, I would have never gone snorkeling at Ka’paa Beach with Michael. I can’t describe the joy I felt being able to feed fish out of the palm of my hand, but here’s a photo.

Snorkeling in Hawaii 2002

If you look, I wasn’t svelte, but all of my body fears were forgotten when we were swarmed by the fish. It was such a joyful experience that even now, over six years later, I am still brimming with excitement and happiness when I see that picture.

If I hadn’t bought a swimming suit that I adored before that trip, I would have never experienced this joy.

So, your job for this week is to purchase a swimming suit and matching sarong that you adore and feel comfortable in.

The Short Version:

  • Buy a swimsuit this week.

  • Buy a matching sarong this week.

  • Make sure you are comfortable in them both. Could you wear it in the grocery store without surprising anyone?


Advertisements For Medifast

By Laura Moncur @ 8:42 am — Filed under:

I have seen a lot of advertising for Medifast lately. Their current celebrity darling is Genie Francis, the woman who played Laura in General Hospital. Oprah lost her weight with Medifast back in the late Eighties, but she immediately started gaining the minute she went off the program. A public failure of their program is something that I’m surprised Medifast was ever able to recover from.

I don’t mind celebrity endorsements, but misleading advertising is another story. This Medifast ad in particular bothers me:

Medifast Ad

It was an animated ad that showed the girl fat, then thin. The thing that bothers me is that she isn’t a success story. They don’t claim that she is. They don’t claim that the girl pictured lost any weight with Medifast, but having her there is misleading.

I KNOW that this isn’t a before and after picture. How do I know? Shoddy Photoshop technique. When they used the photo editing software to make her “fat” they forgot to airbrush out her ribs. Can you see in the “fat” version? The shadow of her ribs are still there. I don’t know about you, but I have never had the shadow of ribs show up in a photo, even when I am thin. You have to get EXTRA skinny to see your ribs.

This is the opposite of what Redbook did to Faith Hill. Instead of taking a perfectly beautiful woman and making her too thin, the advertising agency for Medifast took a strikingly thin girl and made her look fat for her “before” picture.

It makes me wonder. If Medifast REALLY can make you lose weight two times faster, then why don’t they have some REAL people who lost weight in their ads? Why do they have to Photoshop themselves a good before and after picture?

When you go to their site, they have a handful of real people (in addition to Genie Francis) who have lost weight on their program, but why didn’t they use them? Real people get a little sick of starving. That’s what fasting is, starving. When their real customers go back to eating real food, they might have an embarrassing relapse just like Oprah Winfrey. So, it’s better that they find a thin model for the after picture, fatten her up using Photoshop for the before picture and never mention her name. She’s “just” a model afterall.

Sounds like the best thing to do is stay away from companies that are willing to bend the truth a little bit in order to get you to buy their product. Sure, they didn’t lie. They never said that the beautiful blonde pictured in their ad lost weight with Medifast, but having her on their advertisement is manipulative and shady. Don’t trust your health to a company who’s willing to cross those lines.

Here are some other articles about altered images and what they do to our view of ourselves:


Kirstie Alley Creating Her Own Weight Loss Plan

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

Kirstie Alley Feb 2008The photo on the cover of The National Enquirer was enough to cause confusion. After losing an incredible 75 pounds with Jenny Craig, the tabloid suggested that Kirstie Alley had gained it all back and lost her job because of it.

What if there was a different motive? According to People Magazine, Kirstie Alley is planning on launching her own weight loss plan.

“I had not intended to make this announcement at this time, but after an online People magazine article ran last Friday, announcing that I had stepped down as Jenny’s spokesperson, I found myself bombarded with inquiries from the media and fans. So I guess it’s as good of a time as any to announce that I intend to develop and pilot my own weight-loss brand that I hope to launch in 2009.”

You can read Kirstie Alley’s full statement here:

Paranoid as I am, my first instinct was that The National Enquirer had just found an old photo of Kirstie before her experience with Jenny Craig and were using it to sell their magazine. When paranoia really set in, however, I imagined that she really HAD gained back all the weight… purposely. After losing it “on her own” the second time, SHE would be able to cash in on the experience this time instead of Jenny Craig.

What do you think? Has my marketing paranoia run overboard? Is she just purposely gaining weight to “shock” you with another before and after picture? Worse still, did she gain the weight to discredit Jenny Craig?

Staying at a healthy weight is difficult enough without complicating it with negotiations, spokespeople and contracts. The tabloids are just trying to sell you papers, not make you healthy. Remember that in 2009 when they print Kirstie Alley’s “amazing” weight loss the second time around.

Via: Kirstie Alley Plans Own Weight Loss Program | TV Crunch


What About Mom? Tells Us About Running 10Ks

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

#121-10k by ro.Orenz from Flickr

What About Mom? shares with us her ten things she hates about running 10Ks and finishes with the ten things she loves about running the race.

My two favorites from each list is here:

10 things I hate about running 10Ks

People who run a few miles before the race to warm up show off.

Overly cheerful people who patronize old people wearing Pike’s Peak Marathon (”America’s Ultimate Challenge”) t-shirts.

10 things I love about running 10Ks

Exercise that doesn’t involve cute, coordinated arm movements.

It’s a lot shorter than a marathon. A lot.

For more motivation, go to her website and check out the rest of the list:


Naked Jen: Get Naked With Your Body

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

I have been lucky enough to get to know Naked Jen in person. Introduced online by a mutual friend, I learned that she would be moving to Salt Lake City. I was so happy to have such a revolutionary woman come to live in my hometown!

Jen really talked about what she was all about in this article from her website. Be warned, her blog is EXACTLY what it sounds like, so if you are reading this from work, you might want to wait until you go home to click on the link.

“But the reason I started writing Nakedjen, the reason I get naked and share the photos of myself on line, is because I want all of us to appreciate the bodies that we have. To love ourselves. Just the way that we are. All bodies are beautiful. Our media will have us believe otherwise, as many of us who pick up any big fat glossy magazine these days can attest.”

Like the rest of us bloggers, she regularly writes about everything that fill her life, but once a week, on Naked Fridays, she shares her body with the world. This week, she let me be the photographer and we got some beautiful shots of her at home. Here’s a work-safe photo that we can share.

Naked Jen 02-20-08 from Flickr

Next time the fashion and women’s magazines make you feel like you just don’t stack up, remember Naked Jen. She believes that you are beautiful and that you should love yourself just the way you are.


The One Where Phoebe Runs

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

Awhile back, I wrote about the episode of Friends where Phoebe and Rachel run:

At the time, I couldn’t find a video of what I was talking about, but maquiem has been kind enough to edit the video for me. Sadly, the most important line about the episode wasn’t included:

“I run like I did when I was a kid because that’s the only way it’s fun. Didn’t you ever run so fast that you thought your legs were going to fall off?”

Running for the joy of running is something I haven’t done in a long time. I kind of hit a breaking point in my running and I have been playing DDR to exercise instead. As long as I get my exercise in daily, I’m healthy, but I feel a little sadness at my break with running. The thought of turning on my iPod Nano and Nike+ just makes me cringe right now, so I’ll stick with the dance pad and Dance Dance Revolution.


PostSecret: Happier When I’m Hungry

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

PostSecret: Happier When I’m HungryNo matter how smart I get, there is still a desperate little girl inside of me that wants to be skinny at any cost. When I saw this postcard from PostSecret, my first thought was, “God, I wish I could be like this.”

Honestly, I am happier when I am eating.

I have tried for years to change this aspect of myself, but even after years of behavior modification, I am the same. I know I say that you should never wish anorexia on yourself, but seeing this postcard makes me long for a different problem. Instead of the bingeing, how about the starving? Can I trade one for the other?

I do know one thing. For years, I tried to give myself anorexia. I starved myself for days. I subsisted on Slim Fast for weeks. No matter what I did, it always ended up in a binge. Even eating healthy for years can end up in a binge. I am constantly fighting or succumbing to the binge monster at all times.

I guess it’s time to give up the idea that I will magically be anorexic and get skinnier than I’ve ever been, but it’s also time to give up the idea that I will magically be free from wanting to binge. I need to accept myself the way I am and work on being healthy from that point of acceptance.

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.


New Year’s Resolutions: Week 8

By Laura Moncur @ 10:39 am — Filed under:

This is the last week I’ll be giving you some direction for how to actually KEEP your New Year’s Resolution to lose weight or get more active. If you’re short on time, scroll down to the end and read “The Short Version” to get your weekly tips.

If you have been following the plan from the beginning and have been able to keep up, then I only have two more jobs for you. If you haven’t you can start fresh here: New Year’s Resolutions: Week 1.

Get Support and Accountability

This will be the difference between success and failure. You need accountability at the scale and support when things are hard. Join Weight Watchers, Overeaters Anonymous, or some other support group if you have to. Find a friend who will hold your feet to the fire. Whatever it takes to make sure that you have support and accountability.

If you have been faithfully following along since Week 1, you just need to keep on keeping on.

Cut Your Intake By 100 Calories A Day

Your goal is to get to The USDA’s MyPyramid recommended daily calorie intake. If you complete their little questionaire, it will give you an idea of how many calories you should be eating every day. If you are still above that amount, then cut your intake by 100 calories a day.

If you are eating the right amount of calories every day, then keep it up. If you are eating LESS than the recommended amount, then increase your calories by adding healthy food. Never eat less than the USDA’s recommended daily calorie intake for your height and gender.

Save enough calories to eat two teaspoons of healthy oil each day

We talked last week about eating healthy oils. Increase your daily intake to two teaspoons. The USDA has a list of healthy oils that they recommend. My preferences are olive oil, flaxseed oil and sunflower oil. I don’t recommend just eating oil like medicine. Find a way to substitute healthy oils for other fats that you might use. How do I get my oils in? I cook with them and use them on salads. Sometimes I mix flaxseed oil with my cereal because I like the flavor of it.

Lean Proteins and Whole Grains

Manage your protein and “starches.” Choose lean meats with as little fat as possible. Choose whole grain breads and cereals over “white” bread. Choosing lean protein limits your fat intake and choosing whole grains increases your fiber intake. Both of these are supposed to be healthy. Once again, head over to the USDA’s MyPyramid to see the amounts recommended each day.

Plan One Non-Food Related Present Every Day

The longer you follow this program the more important it is to give yourself a non-food present every day. It will help you avoid the feeling of deprivation by finding non-food activities to nurture yourself. Since this is different for every person, think of some activities that you like to do. If you didn’t do this exercise, then go back to New Year’s Resolutions: Week 3 and work on finding out what these activities are for you.

Plan a non-food activity for yourself EVERY day and protect that time. It is your reward for eating healthy every day. You MUST reward yourself every day to stave off any feelings of deprivation that limiting your calories might cause.

Eat five servings of fruits and vegetables every day

One way to stay within your calorie range is to eat vegetables on a regular basis. You should be adding four to five 1/2 cup servings of fruits or veggies to your diet every day now. They are low in calories, provide essential vitamins and fiber and they keep you feeling full.

Save enough calories to eat two servings of dairy products each day

You need to make sure that you have enough calories saved up for two servings of dairy products every day. This is another healthy food to add to your diet. One cup of fat-free milk is approximately 110 calories. It’s probably your best option for adding calcium to your diet, so make sure you get two servings a day.

Increase Your Exercise

You should be walking 2.0 miles five days a week. Now is the time to increase your speed. Here are some tips to get you started:

I want you to exercise at the same time every day. Consistency is key. Now is the time to work on your speed, but getting your workout in every day is the most important thing you can do.

If you are keeping track of your mileage, you can join us at Runner+ to track your miles and compete against other beginners.

Give Yourself Kudos

If you are still working toward your New Year’s Resolution, then you need to give yourself kudos. There are little boxes on the forms every day to give yourself a shiny sticker. Each day that you stay on the program, you need to acknowledge yourself and how good you are doing.

This is the final week of the series. It is imperative that you get support to help you through this journey, because from here on in, it’s just continuing the good habits you have been developing over the last two months.

The Short Version:

  • Get support and accountability: Join WW, Overeaters Anonymous, or some other support group. Find a friend who will hold your feet to the fire.

  • If you aren’t at your recommended daily caloric average, reduce it by another 100 calories. Write down EVERYTHING you eat including measurements and calories.

  • Choose lean protein and whole grains.

  • Save enough calories to eat two teaspoons of healthy oil each day.

  • Avoid the feeling of deprivation by finding non-food activities to nurture yourself EVERY day.

  • Eat five servings of fruits and vegetables every day.

  • Save enough calories to eat two servings of dairy products each day.

  • Increase your speed. Walk/run 2.0 miles five days this week. Remember consistency is more important than speed, but you need to make sure you’re pushing yourself.

  • Give yourself kudos for coming this far.

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