Thursday, September 24, 2009

A runner..well, maybe someday

Running is a road
to self awareness
and self reliance.
You can push yourself to extremes
and learn the harsh reality of
your physical and mental
coast quietly down
a solitary path
watching the Earth
spin at your feet.
But, when you are through,
exhilarated and exhausted,
at least for the moment
everything seems right
in the world.

-Author Unknown

I have been waiting for this moment since I started my weight loss efforts 17 months ago. I have conquered cycling, weight training, Zumba, and swimming. I have finished my first triathlon but it is just now,this very week that I truly feel like SUPER WOMAN.Why? Well I lost 4 pounds last week but that has nothing to do with it. I am feeling so super duper amazing from RUNNING. Yep, that's right. I have been plugging away at the Couch to 5k plan from cool runnings. At first I felt every extra pound that I am still carrying and I still do a little. I have never been a runner.I still don't see myself as a runner but the amazing sense of accomplishment I feel when I am done is so empowering. I have always been envious of runners. It has always been something that has seemed so far out of reach for me. Now I am not going to win any races with my blazing fast speed but I have decided I enjoy it. I was so upset with myself for having to walk most of the 5k during my triathlon and now I am looking onward and upward to running the full length of the Every Stride 5k. The race is one month from today. I plan to run the whole damn thing....shhh, don't tell anyone, I might one day be a runner.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

An education in the uneducated..

A while back I "friended" a personal trainer on a social networking site. I saw him on the news and thought he had sound advice and was a friendly guy. Man, what you see in that little glowy box called the boobtube is not always true. Every time I post an update about my workouts he has some back-handed compliment about how I am doing things wrong..seriously? I mean really, c'mon man. I must be wrong because I lost weight without help of a man that has never needed to lose weight. He must know that in the beginning I couldn't even walk a brisk pace at 5 minutes let alone jog. He must know the emotions I had that drove me to eating. He must know about the 4 ice packs I have in my freezer to ease the pain or the pain killers I had to take to make it through my first triathlon. Why must he know?!?...BECAUSE HE THINKS HE KNOWS EVERYTHING!
Now I appreciate a good trainer as much as the next person and I admit there are some employees at my gym that have helped me more than they will ever know. But this guy is so cold and condescending if he worked there I would of never been back.

When it comes health and fitness, there's certainly no shortage of information out there. Unfortunately, a lot of it is false or misleading. And so much of this false information (like high reps for toning) has been around for so long and is so entrenched that it's accepted as undisputed fact by many. Lately, wherever I go, I invariably run into someone who talks like they're an expert. They speak with absolute confidence and the people who listen never seem to question what they're being told. But a lot of times, this so-called expert will say something that I know is flat out wrong. Most of the time, I'll just roll my eyes.

Now I don't pretend to be an expert. I think I know a lot about the subject, but I think it's important to always be a little humble, to keep an open mind, and to be willing to admit that you might be wrong about something or that you have a lot more to learn. Some people are pretty closed-minded. They think their way is the only way and react harshly if anyone challenges their opinions. This is probably true in general, not just in the area of health and fitness.

Have you run into or do you know such know-it-alls? I don't mean the person who you know is right. I'm talking about the person who's either badly misinformed and doesn't know it or the person who's conned everyone around him and perhaps gets a thrill from holding himself up as an expert. How do you usually deal with them? Do you correct them or do you just let it go? And what sorts of things have you heard them say that you knew were wrong?

I know what's right for me, and I'm willing to listen to what others have to say. I can use or discard any information as I see fit.

I can tell people about my experiences. I'll leave it up to them to determine what's right ... for them. It's no skin off my nose.

Weight Loss is so personal that unless you have been there you really don't know..and still then you only have your own experience.My husband said it best the other day. He said he would never try to be a weight loss counseler or weight loss trainer because he cannot emotionally relate. I think there should be a distinct difference between a personal trainer and a weight loss coach. Because being obese is a whole different monster than just being out of shape.

It's all good to instruct someone to do this many reps of this weight, do this much cardio and eat this many calories out of these certain food groups but honestly no one can live like that. We are not robots. We don't all run on the same program and to help someone for the rest of their life you need to know who they are and how they got there. This takes listening and an open mind coupled with knowledge of nutrition and physical fitness. If you can find that in a trainer, coach , counselor or buddy then you are doing well. Mr. Know-it-All Personal Trainer may know how to burn calories and build muscle but most people need more than that.

Monday, September 14, 2009

The Food Pusher

We all have them in our lives. The "Evil Food Pusher". They are just as destructive to your success as the "Back-handed Compliment Relative" or the "Misery Loves Company Foodie". We have all had those experiences where in our minds we are lunging over the table, grabbing the person by the throat and stuffing them like a turkey just to shut them up but instead we usually smile and (not to disappoint) give in to their food pushing ways. Since the holidays are right around the corner I found an article that gives some good advice on the subject:

They should be your biggest supporters: your best friend, your mother-in-law, your sister. You tell them you are committed to changing your eating habits to lower cholesterol and reduce your risk of heart disease. They offer their full support, and then five minutes later, they hand you a brownie.

Don’t blame them; most food pushers aren’t trying to derail you. Believe it or not, they’re trying to please you. The best way to handle them is to understand them and kill them with kindness
Identify your food pushers and the impact they have on your diet.

Food Pushers Are:

•People who ask you if you want something they know isn’t part of your diet plan.
•People who tell you that you look beautiful the way you are, when you know you’re at an unhealthy weight.
•People who give you dessert when you don’t ask for it.
•People who insist you eat something, when you’ve already said no.
If the impact is substantial, tell them how their actions hinder your weight-loss success. During the conversation, ask for their help. Be clear in those requests. Let the person know whether you want moral support, encouragement, guidance, or assistance with discipline.

The key is to remember not to take their pushing personally. They often do it unintentionally.
A convention in polite society is to offer food more than once. Just say ”No, thank you” without any explanations. If you have to, say it over and over. The food pusher will get the message that you are not going to take the food, while you are still being polite.

Katherine Tallmadge, R.D., a Washington, D.C., nutrition consultant and author of Diet Simple (LifeLine Press, 2002), agrees.

“If you say ‘No, thanks, I’m watching it’ or ‘I’m on a diet,’ you are giving the pusher a double signal,” she says. “You are telling them ‘I’d like it, I just can’t have it; talk me into it.’ Odds are, they will.”
When you act like the diet you’re on is frustrating, the people around you will pick up on it.

Food pushers will subconsciously think it’s the broccoli that’s making you so unhappy, so they will keep asking you if you want a something sweet or extra-salty to boost your mood. The people who are around you most, and love you, don’t want to see you miserable because of what you’re eating, especially when they feel like dessert will make you feel better
Offering someone food can be an expression of love. If the food gets rejected, the person offering it feels rejected. You see this a lot with mothers and in-laws.

For family situations, compliment the food pusher on the foods you want more of. If your sister-in-law makes a terrific salad in addition to high-fat treats, tell her how much you look forward to eating her salads.

Most food pushers aim to please, so when they keep hearing about what you love to eat, they’ll get the hint and start making the things you enjoy most
Backing up your healthy lifestyle with explainable goals will help you keep food pushers at bay.

Know Your Weight and Health Numbers
When you know your blood pressure, blood glucose, and cholesterol levels, you will be able to better determine and fully understand appropriate goals for yourself and, if you’re comfortable, share them with others.

Eat Breakfast Every Day
When you start your day with a healthful breakfast, you’ll feel more satisfied and you’ll be less hungry when a food pusher offers you something.

Find Supportive Friends
Everyone needs a little motivation and inspiration. Reaching your goals will be much easier if you have a strong support group at your side (and with you to face a food pusher).

Don’t Let Others Bring You Down
Some food pushers feel guilty about their own eating habits and want you to join in so they can feel better about themselves. Say no to their pushing: See if they want to join you in your new, healthy ways.

When a food pusher asks you if you want that doughnut, remind yourself of what’s important. That small treat may be just one little snack, but it could lead to a load of other snacks. And when you say “No, thanks,” realize that you are healthier because you rejected it.

Tell the people who love you about your plans to eat healthfully and exercise. Knowing that you’ll live longer and have more time with them will mean a lot more than eating those empty calories.

A Follow Up to my Previous Blog.

I really appreciate every one's opinion on the matter of WLS. Even though some do not want to accept it, it is becoming a trend..a fad almost. I personally know people that have had it and use it properly and people that don't. My frustration lies in the person that thinks of it as a quick fix. Now for all of the negative comments. All I can say is before you call me out for being wrong please do your research. As a nurse pointed out in a comment, if you are self pay most doctors will do anything. Also about the plastic surgery. Insurance companies will cover it if the doctor can prove it is interfering with your day to day activities because then it is considered reconstructive and not cosmetic. A few skin rashes and a couple of persrciptions for ointment gets your foot in the door. It all depends on th experience of the Doctor and his billing and coding team.
Now, I enjoy keeping this blog public because I really don't have anything to hide. I have received at least 200 emails over the past year from women that say they can relate and that thank me for being a motivation. In turn I have received hate mail. Funny actually because it usually all comes from the same IP address but I must be too ignorant to look that up right? So for all of the people that want to be negative do yourself a favor and work on you own health and your own life. Hiding behind fake screen names does not affect me....just ends up proving that Ugly is more than skin deep.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Being Fat is Hard, Losing weight is Hard...

Choose your Hard!
I am probably going to ruffle some feathers with this post but this is MY blog and I guess it is a form of therapy for me.
I was asked yet again over the weekend if I had weight loss surgery. I didn't and I will scream it from the roof tops. In my mind there are a few reasons to get the procedure and laziness or lack of will should not be one of those reasons. Maybe you have tried and failed a few times and there are medical reasons that you need the weight is then an option but I think it needs to be combined with therapy and exercise to be successful. In the past 2 months I have seen at least 3 people I know jump into surgery. No pre-op obligations to meet at all. Really it is just a lack of authority on the insurance company's part and a whole lot of greed on the doctors part. I have seen appointment to surgery progress in as little as 4 weeks with no diet history, no medical problems and a need to only lose 75 pounds. This just lights a fire under my ass.
I will be the first to admit that I went to the orientation and really looked into surgery. Because of financial reasons and fear I backed out and have been on the track to lose the weight myself. I understand that some people cannot do it. I really do because I was a yo-yo dieter for years but don't the doctors have some sort of responsibility to stop these over night surgery fans. I mean it has become the social norm to have your mouth surgically routed to your ass for weight loss. Years ago people would whisper with suspicion behind your back if you have weight loss surgery and now they treat it like a prize. Smiling and congratulating the woman that went to Mexico because she had so little to lose an American doctor wouldn't touch her but she just had to lose that 50 pounds somehow.I have loose skin and I will have to pay for removal or live with it because my insurance company will only pay for it IF I have had WLS. Seriously?
I am sore everyday, I push myself everyday. Sometimes I am so tired I just want to break down in tears. I push myself to my physical limit all of the time. I eat clean and I struggle. I look in the mirror and still see how far I have to go. I should be proud. I should be thrilled to show my old ID at the store. The truth is sometimes I lie and say I don't have it just so I don't have to get into the great weight loss debate with the nosey cashier. It's never easy. It's hard but at the end of the day I am happy with the path I chose.