Posts Tagged ‘exercise’
Although Christie claims “This is an intensely personal issue,” political pundits note that candidates often try to lose weight as they prepare for major political campaigns. The Washington Post reminds us that former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee lost more than 100-pounds before running for president and then even went onto pen a book about healthy living.
WebMD reports that gastric banding surgery is the second most common weight loss surgery (after gastric bypass). WebMD details that gastric banding is considered the least invasive weight loss surgery. It is also the safest according to WebMD. They go onto report that the procedure can be reversed if necessary, and in time, the stomach generally returns to its normal size.
No matter what Christie’s true intents are (whether health or politically oriented), I wish him luck with his endeavors to attain better health. Although personally, I question the legitimacy of any kind of surgery to help with weight loss. I have several friends who have undergone these procedures and disagree with me. And I know that many readers of this blog would disagree with me as well.
But at the end of the day, the key to weight loss is eating less and exercising more. And anyone can achieve this without invasive — and potentially dangerous — surgery. Yes, it takes a lot of will power to achieve this. But why not work to tap into that before taking such extreme measures? Not only do people who undergo these surgeries often throwup a great deal right after having the surgery (due to initially still overeating), but they often gain the weight back. We’ve seen examples of this in Carnie Wilson and others.
People often look depressed when I tell them that keeping off the 250+ pounds that I lost over a decade ago still requires work today. Everyone wants the simple solution and/or to know that after the weight loss they won’t have to think about dieting anymore. But as people who are or who have been extremely overweight, this is something we can never stop thinking about — otherwise the weight will creep back on (no matter how the weight loss was achieved in the first place).
What do you think of Chris Christie undergoing weight loss surgery? And do you think people (all potential voters) will be impressed if he loses all of his excess weight even though it’s through surgery? And are you for the surgery or against it? Are you a surgery success story? No matter where you weigh in on this debate, I’d love to hear from you.
Photo Source: Zap2it.com
Although you wouldn’t know it to look at me today, I used to be a total boob man. But the difference between me and that guy who Googles Dolly Parton is that, at the time I had boobs that could give Ms. P a run for her money.
This was back when I weighed well over 400 pounds and was approaching the dreaded 450-pound mark (at which point my scale quit me – but that’s another story for another post). During this time period, I was somewhat terrified to leave my apartment. Mainly because I was worried that the world was judging me. By just stepping out the door, I felt like everyone could figure out my weakness (food!) and see my Achilles’ heel (well, myAchilles’ belly, in any case).
Of course, a lot of this thinking was ego-based. I mean, inhabitants of Tallahassee, Florida (where I lived at the time) were likely too busy living their own lives to really care that my girth was close to being assigned its own zip code. And yet, often times, their stares told me differently. Usually, once I would catch someone staring, we would both look to one another, acknowledge mutual shame and then look away. This would usually be followed by me making fun of their outfit (silently in my head) – anything to combat the torture I was sure they intended for me to suffer.
Again, a lot of this was drama I was creating for myself. And this drama was paralyzing. This is why I would usually shop for groceries late at night. After all, I knew the sight of a 400+ pound man shopping for food might be too much for some onlookers to bear. Luckily for me, there was a 24-hour Albertsons nearby. So late at night I would sneak out of my apartment and scurry over to the grocery store, trying to stay hidden from the world. And from myself.
But there was a reason this market was open 24-hours a day. It turns out other people liked to shop around the clock as well (although I was sure their reasons weren’t as important as mine).
I’ll never forget one late evening, while pushing my cart through the aisles of Albertsons. My bounty thus far included my usual picks: 1/2 very healthy, “diet”-type food along with 1/2 binge-worthy treats that I would use as a “last meal” before beginning that week’s diet. Thus, I would quickly wheel past anyone who happened to be in the same aisle as me.
This particular evening, I found myself in one aisle that was very crowded. It was the cereal aisle and I was picking out one ‘healthy’ and one ‘unhealthy’ cereal. When turning my cart to leave the aisle, I saw a bunch of shoppers on one end. Abort mission! I quickly turned my cart toward the opposite end of the aisle, horrified to see it was just as crowded. ‘Why must everyone like cereal as much as me?,’ I wondered.
I then swallowed hard, looked down (eye contact with anyone seeing my girth was forbidden, after all) and pushed my cart toward the end of the aisle. At one point, I passed a mom and her daughter. The little girl (around 6 or 7) made eye contact with me. There she was, this sweet, innocent cereal lover. So I risked everything and smiled at her. Much to my chagrin, she stared back blankly. I continued past her and her mom. But as I did, the girl screamed out to her mom, “Mommy! Mommy? Why does that man have boobs?”
Everyone – and I mean everyone – in that crowded aisle turned to look at the man with boobs (I was sporting facial hair at the time, so there was no denying I was male). I quickly made my way down the aisle, my hands gripping the cart while I held my breath, determined to slink away before every shopper saw my 44Bs. Or were they Double Ds?
After rounding the corner, I abandoned the cart and quickly left the market – getting into my Chevy Chevette and speedily racing home like a vampire fearing dawn’s first light. Once safe in my apartment, I wished that I had said something equally mean to the little girl – something that would have kept her up at night or, at the very least, made her pee her pants in front of all the other shoppers. I never did see her or her mother again. But I still went even further into hermit mode for the next several years.
I share this not to demonize – or even excuse – the little girl’s behavior. I share it because I know the agony of stepping into public with added girth. It’s our embarrassment and shame that not only keeps us from heading into public but also from actually taking the weight off. This is all part of the cycle of abuse that society offers and that we participate in. Looking back, I can see that the little girl wasn’t my worst enemy at the time. I was.
Nowadays I think back on my man boobs with pride and a big sense of humor. When appearing on the Today Show, I joked that I felt like I was nursing America when they flashed one of my shirtless “Before” pictures onscreen. It’s this kind of humor that can free us. No matter what size we are, it’s nothing to be embarrassed of. And it’s nothing that should keep us from shopping in public – or doing anything else in public for that matter (perhaps even exercising)… And it’s nothing that should keep us from loving and accepting ourselves. This kind of acceptance can be so freeing – and can help unblock the path to weight loss and good health once and for all.
Today, I have slightly-defined pecs from my years of working out (emphasis on slightly — LOL!). But look closely and you’ll see scars under my nipples from when I had excess skin around my chest (and elsewhere) cut away after losing and keeping off the excess weight. So I still think twice about being seen in a bathing suit in public. But then again, so do most people I know (even those odd ‘Thin all their lives’ people).
So wear your boobs proudly – no matter if you’re male or female, no matter if you’re in a “Before,” “During” or “After” phase. And for God’s sake, keep your sense of humor. After all, I may not have actual boobs anymore, but I’m still one of the biggest boobs you’ll ever meet.
Have you experienced something like this? If so, I want to hear about it. Not to be horrified. Not to be frightened. But to acknowledge, smile – and hopefully laugh – with you… One boob to another.
Have you gotten a flu shot this season? Or are you one of the people finding out that a lot of places don’t have the vaccine available due to high demand? Or do you believe that flu shots aren’t necessary?
According to MSN Healthy Living, this current flu season is resulting in some of the highest rates of influenza compared to the previous decade. MSN Healthy Living goes onto report that in January, the proportion of deaths related to pneumonia and influenza reached slightly above the epidemic threshold (according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention). Using the MSN Healthy Living’s helpful chart (below), you can find out more about this year’s flu season, what, exactly, the flu is and — most important — how to hopefully avoid catching the flu. After all, what good is all of our healthy eating and exercise if we aren’t healthy in every other way, too? Let’s stay informed and stay well. (If you have any tips of your own — or if you want to weigh in on the pro flu shot vs. anti flu shot debate, please share, below, in the comments section!)
It’s a sentiment that demands repeating: Nothing strikes terror in the heart of a dieter more than the holiday season.
Well, like it or not, Turkey Day is upon us. But this year is going to be different. Why? Because this year, you’re staying in control (you are stronger than Pumpkin Pie, after all). And you’re also going to exercise your newfound knowledge regarding the difference between a Splurge Meal and a Binge.
In the book Just Stop Eating So Much!, I write about Splurge Meal options when you get close to or reach your goal weight. Yes, at a Splurge Meal you can enjoy your favorite foods and beverages – but you’re encouraged to do it within reason (paying attention to portion sizes and pushing the plate away before the waistline of your jeans starts cutting off circulation to the upper half of your body).
The trick is to really enjoy a meal – not an entire day (or weekend, week, month or season) of splurging. Because when continuing to eat after the one meal, splurging becomesbingeing – and that leads to disaster for both your mental and physical health.
But here’s the good news! This Thanksgiving, whether you’re at, near – or far from – your goal weight, you have permission to enjoy a Splurge Meal. If you just enjoy the one Thanksgiving meal and eat and drink according to healthier food and portion guidelines for the rest of the holiday weekend, you won’t hurt your efforts to look and feel great.
And when it comes to splurging on Thanksgiving Dinner, try and make sure you enjoy allaspects of it and don’t make it about eating as many sweet potatoes as you can, since you know you’re back to your commitment to eating healthier resumes right after the meal is over. Instead, really taste the food with each bite. Savor every morsel – and enjoy all of the different the flavor sensations – while also enjoying the people you’re dining with and listing the reasons you’re thankful in your head.
So this Turkey Day, eat, drink and be merry – all without guilt. But don’t be a glutton. Stop before you’re too full and don’t mourn not being able to have a turkey sandwich later. After all, your weight loss efforts are a choice. You are choosing to get healthy, to look better, to fit into your skinny jeans and to turn a few heads by Christmastime.
By successfully living through an “eating holiday,” you will prove once and for all that this time you’re really in control. And that’s definitely cause for celebration!
When I tell people I workout seven days a week, the usual reaction is “Really?!” Followed by, “How do you do it?” When I add that I get up around 4:30am every morning and that I am at the gym by 5am — including on weekends and even holidays, people usually start to wonder if my body’s been taken over by an alien being. And, I must admit, on certain mornings I wonder the same thing.
First of all, no — it’s not easy dragging my butt out of bed when the alarm rings every morning. This can be as true on a Thursday or Friday as it is on a Saturday, Sunday or Monday. When the alarm rings, I’m not always a ‘happy camper.’ But I never (and I mean never) reach out and hit ‘snooze’ on the alarm clock. Instead, I do a quick stretch (sometimes with an added ‘groan,’) cuddle with my puppy for a few seconds and then jump up and get going. At this point, I’m usually in ‘robot mode’ (AKA ‘automatic pilot’) as I brush my teeth, wash my face and run a few fingers through my hair (before deciding the early morning gym crowd can just deal with my ‘bed head’). After getting dressed and grabbing my gym bag, I’m out the door.
I’m usually the first to arrive at my gym (even before the person who opens it). And I see the way the person who opens the gym looks at me, wondering himself if I’m part alien. At this point I’m forced to admit that the answer is probably ‘yes.’ This is because I’m a much different person today than I was years ago when I weighed over 450 pounds, during which time I would become breathless just from talking on the phone and participated in no physical activity whatsoever (unless you count ‘chewing’ as a physical activity). Ironically, during the time I was that heavy, I usually always wore sweatpants and t-shirts (AKA the usual gym-wear), since with a 60-inch waist, those were the only types of clothing items that I could find that would fit (not to mention stretch with me as my body grew bigger and bigger).
When I think about ‘those days,’ I’m able to understand why I’m somewhat obsessive about working out these days. I never want to go back to my former habits (the ones that kept me tipping the scale at over 450 pounds). And while also helping me to maintain my self-imposed work schedule for the rest of the day (after my daily workout is complete), exercising also keeps my ‘inside’ as healthy as my ‘outside.’ And I’m not gonna lie — I like looking good as well as feeling good.
Now, just because I exercise 7 days a week at the crack of dawn doesn’t mean you have to do the same. Just as with a healthy eating plan, you need to create and stick to an exercise regimen that works for you, individually. The good news is that you don’t even have to join a gym to do so. Just walking several times around a block (or a track field, a park, a mall — the list goes on) is a good place to start.
After years and years of yo-yo dieting, I find that working out 7 days a week is essential to my metabolism and my current dietary needs (and occasional dietary splurges). One exercise program is not right for all people. So you need to do what works for you as well as what works for your schedule. (And depending on your current medical condition, you might want to consult with a doctor first — be smart about it.) Personally, I find working out first thing in the morning a better choice, since by the end of the day I’m tired and can usually come up with 100 excuses why I don’t have time to (or don’t feel like) work(ing) out.
But do I love it when the alarm rings? No. Am I thrilled when stepping onto the treadmill knowing I’m going to be on it for an hour? No. Do I love waiting for a trainer and his or her client to stop using the one piece of gym equipment or weight set that I need to complete my workout routine? No.
But do I love how I feel when my workout is complete? Yes. Do I love breathing without difficulty? Yes. Do I love getting a medical checkup and my doctor telling me my lab numbers are “Insanely good?” Yes. And do I love being able to treat myself to occasional indulgent foods knowing I’ll work the calories off the next morning? Hell yes. I mean, um, yes. You get the point. The working out is worth every morning groan (when the alarm rings) and every drop of sweat. Bedhead be damned.
So join me in my insanity, won’t you? Whether you’re setting the alarm for early in the morning or scheduling a 30-minute walk later in your day (perhaps during your lunch break), please do your body, mind and soul a favor and make working out a part of your life — one that you stick with throughout the year.
Again, it doesn’t have to be every day. It doesn’t have to be at some crazy hour. But it really does have to be. As much for looking good and feeling good as for being healthy on the inside. Your health is important to me. So let’s be mad workout alien beings together!