Healthy Weight Loss In The New Year

•January 26, 2010 • 1 Comment

January 26, 2010

Bicycle Seats

Since having been diagnosed with degenerative joint disorder in my back and my knee, I’ve traded my treadmill for a stationary bike purported to be easier on the joints. It is much easier and I’m grateful. However I wanted to discuss the problems with bicycle seats.

I find myself wondering, who in the world designed bicycle seats? These seats might be fine for those that already have toned behinds, but I’m hear to say that the dang things are pure torture for those of us who are fighting obesity. In all honesty, we sit on these tiny little seats and they disappear. No kidding! Surely there must be a better way.

The seat on my newly purchased, used stationary bike is one of the larger types. I suppose that to someone who is already fit, this seat is probably quite comfortable. For someone like me who has a lot of extra weight on her tiny frame, this seat is hell.

I’ve been using the bike for more than three weeks now. I can hardly take another day on that seat. I’m beginning to have a better understanding of why so many of these bikes end up in people’s basements, or used for clothing racks until finally being sent to the thrift stores. We get on them with the greatest of intentions and then fail because of that dang seat.

I refuse to allow the bike seat to take this exercising opportunity away from me. I need the low impact exercise this bike offers me, and it fits into a small space in the house so that’s a plus.

I decided to do some Internet research about bicycle seats and this is what I found. Regular bike seats put pressure on the pudendal nerves, located here:

http://www.nationalpainfoundation.org/dis_cond/Pelvic%20pain/BOTHPudendal2_crop300lines.jpg

We sit on these nerves when we’re on our bikes, stationary or otherwise. They become pinched and sometimes entrapped often causing prickling, stabbing, burning, and numbness. In addition to pain, symptoms can include sexual dysfunction, impotence, and incontinence.

Ok, that’s enough information for me. I decide that I cannot sit on this tiny bicycle seat any longer and so I did some research and found a seat that I think I may like better. After looking online a bit I came across a seat that looks like a padded tractor seat. I kid you not! A tractor seat! Oh yes, I’m quite sure that’s the one for me, so I placed an order for it. It’s called the Schwinn No Pressure Bicycle Seat. You can Google it easily if you’re interested. In all honesty the reviews aren’t good for this seat, but I need something that’s going to support my big behind and at the same time stop the pain I’m going through so I can continue on with my exercise program. It arrives in the mail at the end of the week. I’ll be sure to let you all know how I like it.

Keep fighting the obesity fight. We can get there one step at a time.

Healthy Weight Loss In The New Year

•January 16, 2010 • 3 Comments

January 16, 2010

Weight Related  Illnesses

Exercise is challenging to the truly obese individual. I’m not talking about the person who has just a few pounds to lose. I’m talking about those of us who are 25+ pounds overweight. At some point, obesity becomes a handicap. It impairs our ability to be able to do the simplest of things. Bending over becomes a chore and getting up off the floor can become quite challenging as we crawl over to the sofa to help ourselves get up. Getting dressed can be difficult too as we struggles to get our legs in our pants or to bend over and tie our shoes.

Excess weight on joints can cause pain and trouble with our back, knees and feet, often leading to other disabilities. Our heart has to work harder to do it’s job and we often become short of breath as we do simple things like walking or climbing a flight of stairs.

Sleep apnea has been associated with obesity, as has insomnia. High cholesterol, high blood pressure and diabetes are all associated as well. Obesity literally robs us of our health.

Over the years I’ve put enough weight related stress on my joints to cause joint disorders in my back and my knees. My cholesterol is rising, as is my blood pressure. At 52 I’m beginning to sit up and take notice of the seriousness of obesity as it begins to take it’s tole on my health. Those joint disorders now disrupt my own attempts at regular exercise. Obesity is like a double-edged sword. It takes your health from you and then when you try to get well, it stand in the way of your efforts.

I won’t give up though. I’m plugging along away one day at a time and hope that you are too. Anyone else out there fighting the same fight?

Healthy Weight Loss In The New Year

•January 14, 2010 • 1 Comment

January 14, 2010

Over Informed

Seems January is the time when all the health experts and diet gurus bombard us with information about what we should or shouldn’t be doing in order to get healthier or lose weight. The number of new products to try, diets to pursue and supplements we should take is mind-boggling. Each one proclaiming to be the right one for us.

With so much information being tossed at us, it’s hard to decide what we should be doing. I often feel over saturated with diet and health information, which sometimes leads to confusion or indecision, resulting in stagnation. ACK!

The media can be wrong sometimes. Experts on the next best supplement or regimen on the market are all too often more out to make a buck then they actually are to help us get healthy.

I think that common sense combined with our individual needs is what we need to pay attention to. Try a new product or new diet if you must but don’t beat yourself up if it doesn’t work for you. Only you can tailor the best regimen for yourself.

There was a time when calorie reduction and exercise was all it took to help us lose weight and be healthier……….No special pills, no fancy exercise equipment, no expensive memberships at a work out center, no “diet” foods; just simple exercise and eating in moderation.

Many of us often fall for a pill to help fix our weight issues. We fill our freezers with frozen diet meals so we don’t have to fix our own healthier version of what comes in that little box. Often we end up feeling let down by the results. Or worse yet, blame ourselves when we can’t achieve what we feel we should have been able to. Never mind that the proclamations for a product are really made solely to make a buck. We tend to forget that.

Busier lifestyles and processed foods leave us feeling depleted. All we really need to do is learn to get more natural forms of exercise, cook healthy meals and eat in moderation. What do you suppose we all did before the 24-hour gym came along? We got outside, played games with our kids, and shared a family outing that included hiking or swimming, even walked with our best friends around the mall or the neighborhood.

I think commercialism has made living a healthier life more complicated than it needs to be. We need to take a few moments to look inside ourselves for the answers to living a healthier life and stop paying so much attention to which new pill, or supplement we can put in our mouth so that we don’t have to put forth any real effort to getting healthier.

Good luck on your own personal journey.

Healthy Weight Loss In The New Year

•January 11, 2010 • 2 Comments

January 11, 2010

Evaluating My Needs

Today is the beginning of my second week on my new weight loss and healthier living plan. So far so good, but only one week has gone by. The first week of a new change always seems the most difficult to me. The road ahead seems long.

I traded in my treadmill for a stationary bike last week because I have a bad knee. I need to do some kind of cardio that has low impact on my joints. The bike was recommended. I probably wouldn’t have joint problems if I hadn’t let myself go for so long. Well no sense in looking back when I need to be taking all my steps forward. No need to beat myself up for unwise choices I made in the past. I must stay focused on the day’s head.

Being a thrifty kind of woman, I decided to sell my treadmill on Craigslist and then take the money and buy a stationary bike at the ARC. My plan worked smoothly and before you know it I was seated on that bike for the very first time. Umph….umph…umph…. Holy cow, peddling that thing would be a heck of a lot easier if it weren’t for this big belly in my lap. Yes indeed this is going to be a journey of a lifetime, one day at a time.

I think that adopting a “one day at a time” attitude is healthy. Sure I have a goal in mind and a plan to reach it, but if I don’t adopt a new healthier lifestyle one day at a time, I may get too far ahead of myself and lose tract of where I am in the moment.

Being one who tends on the non-diabetic, hypoglycemic side, I need to keep my blood sugar regulated so I don’t experience a crash. It has taken some trials and errors to for me to understand exactly what I need to do to keep on an even keel, but I think I’ve figured out what works best for me. A simple balancing of fiber, carbs and proteins throughout the day and I can be completely hunger free all day long.

Hunger is one of the things I need to keep under control in order to succeed in weight loss. Dealing honestly with emotions is another thing I need to be mindful of. My successful weight loss depends on both.

I’ve learned that I must eat on a schedule in order to keep my blood sugar level. So part of my strategy has been to carry some high protein bars in my purse in case I’m away from home when I feel the first signs of hunger. I can’t always be at home near healthier food when mealtime rolls around and I don’t want my hunger to sway my resolve in making better choices by causing me to swing into a McDonald’s or a Taco Bell drive thru. I want to have healthier choices. A 200-calorie protein bar will get me through a tough moment.

I’ve also learned that protein is what keeps my hunger suppressed longest. I make it a point to get a lean protein source with each meal. As a matter of fact, I’m going to be writing a low calorie cookbook this year as I make this journey. I’ll be taking all my own food photos too. I think there will be some surprises inside for everyone.

Stay tuned for the journey as it unfolds moment by moment.

Healthy Weight Loss In The New Year

•December 30, 2009 • Leave a Comment

December 30, 2009

The Begining

Many of us will be making New Years resolutions to lose weight and live healthier lives in the upcoming year. A lot of us will begin with a gung-ho attitude in January and then fizzle out somewhere along the line, falling short of our goals.

I would like to offer my perspective on a healthy and progressive way to lose 52 pounds in the New Year. It’s a program I intend to work myself.

Losing 52 pounds in a year equates to losing one pound a week. When you look at it that way it seems pretty simple doesn’t it? It seems so simple in fact that many will be tempted to alter our weight loss programs to lose two pounds a week instead, in order see a weight loss of 52 pounds in a shorter period of time………but don’t be tempted to do this. You will only be setting yourself up for failure.

First of all it’s important to understand that 3500 calories equals one pound of unwanted weight.

Second, you must know that it takes 13 calories per pound of your present body weight, to maintain the weight you currently are. For example: If you weigh 180 pounds, it takes 2340 calories a day to maintain that weight. If we take 2340 calories as a starting point and decide we want to lose a pound a day we simply alter our calorie intake by 3500 calories a week, or 500 calories a day. You see how easy that sounds now that you know?

You continue to do this until you hit a plateau and then you recalculate based on your new current weight. You keep doing this until you’ve reached your weight goal.

Most of us will exercise along with changing our eating plans. You can find an excellent calorie calculations guide at the following web link: http://www.healthstatus.com/calculate/cbc

Following a guide such as this one can help you to coordinate a convenient exercise plan especially for you. A lot of us don’t have an extra hour to spare on exercise each day. We have busy schedules and hectic lives and finding a full hour each day to dedicate to ourselves can be difficult at best. Well, not to worry. You don’t have to do the full hour all at once. It can be much simpler to divide that time into 2, 3 or even 4 segments of exercise. The idea is to get a bit of cardiovascular activities going.

A quick walk around the block, simply walking or jogging in place can work nicely to get your cardiovascular system revved up. Use your breaks at work to grab a quick protein snack that you can carry with you while you use that 15 minutes to rev up your body.

I think it’s important to note the importance of eating a breakfast before you leave home for work each day. Make this a simple, healthy choice that will help to get you going for the day. We’ve all seen those Jimmy Dean commercials that show us the importance of eating early in the day. So make it quick if you must, but grab something to help maintain you until your first break at work. I personally recommend a high protein breakfast bar. It’s easy to eat on the run, contains about 200-220 calories with a whopping 13-15 grams of protein. Many people aren’t aware that protein is what keeps our hunger at bay so opt for at least 12 grams of protein with each meal.

Just as a reminder: White foods contain a lot of empty calories. Go for whole grains, fresh fruits, fresh vegetables and lean meat. Keep sugar and fat to a minimum. We are all human so there will be times we will be tempted to have a sugary treat or a slice of pizza and that’s okay as long as you figure the calories into your daily plan.

I wish you all luck in your weight loss and health endeavors in the New Year. Just remember, I’m right here beside you struggling as well.

Happy Holiday’s!

•December 16, 2009 • 2 Comments

Things To Remember During The Holiday Season

•November 30, 2009 • 1 Comment

 

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The following is a list that I compiled myself. It is completely universal and can be followed and enjoyed by anyone of any faith or any belief, anywhere, at anytime. I hope you enjoy it.

 

1.- This time of year only rolls around once. Family and friends come from afar so be sure to spread cheer, love and warmth to all that are important in your life.

 

2.- Find a way to extend the spirit of “the holiday season” throughout the rest of the year. For example, donate to your local food bank regularly or volunteer your time at the shelter. Hunger and homelessness extend beyond “the holiday season” for those that suffer.

 

3.- Take time to pray and meditate. This time of year can be very stressful for many.

 

4.- Welcome loved ones with open arms, love in your heart, and a big mug of hot chocolate to warm the soul and take away the winter chill.

 

5.- Share joyful stories of days gone by. Look for the good in the past and try to overlook any painful memories.

 

6.- Open the photo albums and laugh and cry at the silly things and the sentimental things of the past.

 

7.- Open your arms and hug everyone. Hug until you ache. You never know when your hugging will help to ease the ache in someone else’s heart.

 

8.- Find one special thing about everyone in your life and quietly take them aside and tell them how special they make you feel, or how important they are in your life, or how much you appreciate them. It could be the most cherished gift they receive.

 

9.- Above all, remember to give thanks. The energy of being thankful is as important as the breath we take. When thanks are given, more positive energy is returned.

 

Blessings To Everyone!