Saturday, April 30, 2011

What to do?

Weight Watchers, Atkins, South Beach Diet, Body For Life, Biggest Loser Workout, The Firm, PX90. There are more weight loss plans and exercise program options than calories in my bowl of Snelgroves. How do you know which one is right for you?
We each have a different body type, metabolism, and genetic background. Jenny Craig might have saved your neighbor, but it might not work for your body, lifestyle, or emotional health. You need to evaluate what your health needs are and how you can most effectively meet those needs without wreaking havoc on the other aspects of your life.

I love chocolate. If I try to go on a diet plan that cuts out all treats I get irritable. It's not worth it for me or my family to have me lose a couple of pounds and be no fun to live with.

I've told you before that I don't love "dieting." I've seen many friends and family go on diets and lose weight then gain it back. Because of that I would be careful when signing up for a specific dieting program, especially one that costs a lot of money and/or promises quick weight loss. If you do feel one of the diet plans is what you need to stay on track, do your research. Talk to friends and family who have used the program. See what kind of research is behind the program. See if you can find out the honest results and if participants were able to stick with the program long term to stay healthy instead of just a quick weight loss which is not only a waste of time but can be harmful.

The best dietary programs are going to focus on healthy, whole foods. I would discourage spending a bunch of money on the program's food. Not only can it be very expensive, but nobody is going to do that for life.

I would encourage you to talk to a registered dietitian before signing up for any program. A dietitian could also help you write a plan and counsel you on sticking with it, helping you avoid shelling out money for a diet that may be a scam or harmful to your health.

What about exercise?

Again, every person's body is different. I have a good friend who teaches Pilates and looks fabulous. My sister-in-law is a cardio girl (bike, swim, run, crawl, you name it) and she also has an amazing shape. I love strength training and focus most of my time in the weight room and running.

Variety will improve effectiveness and help you stick with exercise. It's easy to get stuck in a rut, I do it myself. Varying speed, intensity, and duration can help. It's also wonderful to try new things out, though not always practical.

But what if I want to do a certain exercise program like Crossfit or PX90?

Research. Check out the qualifications, experience, and success rate of the program designers. See if they have research to back up what they're selling (I like to see a few different research studies because sometimes the study is small or paid for by the group it benefits). Talk to people who have used the program or trainer.

Try it out. Make sure you like it before you invest too much time or money into something. Most local gyms/exercise programs should have a trial period so you can see if you enjoy the exercise and the group. DVDs or exercise machines usually have a money back guarantee within a certain time frame. You're trying it out to see if you like it, but you shouldn't expect immediate weight loss or shredded biceps.

Becoming fit takes time. Give the program at least six to eight weeks. You can tell if the program is going to be effective by how you're feeling. You should be tired by the end of a workout and slightly sore the next morning, but you shouldn't have pain in your joints or a feeling of tearing a muscle or ligament.

It's extremely hard to wade through all the different options for diet and exercise programs. It really comes down to trusting your own instincts. Don't buy into quick weight loss schemes, they may work initially but will always let you down long term. Also, as a Christian I turn to the Lord when I'm making a decision. He cares about you in every aspect of your life. He doesn't want you wasting time, money, or becoming irritable (justification for my chocolate obsession).

Your health is important. Make sure your decisions regarding your health are not taken lightly.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Shopping

Went on a shopping spree with my friends yesterday. I haven't been shopping for normal clothes for over a year and a half. I'm finally back down to my happy weight and I've got to say that it was a delightful day. My friends are wonderful and it was so much fun to try and clothes and have them fit. I even got a Hapari swimsuit and felt good about it (swimsuits are always tough). My friends tried to get me to eat a brownie at dinner and I couldn't do it. It was so fun to feel thin I actually had no desire for chocolate. I'm sure that will change tonight when my husband wants to stop for ice cream after our Friday night date, but right now I'm super motivated to be healthy!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

5yo worries

My 5yo asked me, "Mom, how do I exercise so I can lose some weight?"

Oh, no. Looks like Mom needs to stop talking about losing the baby weight.

I believe it is crucial to teach children to enjoy being active, offer them healthy food and instill good health habits, but when a 5yo who is completely healthy is worrying about losing weight? Mom and Dad probably need to watch what they are saying and focus on being healthy rather than losing weight.

I searched the internet for good articles on the subject. There were many on childhood obesity and how to help children lose weight (which are sadly important subjects) but there weren't as many on positive body image and one I found (that I really liked) had an ad for quick weight loss pills right next to the article. Empowered Parents had a good article, "Body Image Concerns in Young Children" by Abigal Natenshon.

What do you do to make sure you're sending healthy body image messages to your children?

Monday, April 25, 2011

No Excuses

An older gentleman comes to the gym with his bottle of oxygen strapped to his back. When I watch him lift weights I always think "That's how I want to be when I'm in my 70s."
I'm impressed by so many different people. A friend with breast cancer who not only keeps running but is training for an ultra marathon. A 60+ year old lady who is in better shape than most 20 year olds. My husband who finds time to exercise even though his schedule is overflowing with work, church, and family responsibilities (not to mention that lengthy honey-do list). An expectant mom who keeps walking through the pain.

All these people help me realize that I have no excuse not to push myself. Who inspires you to keep working hard?

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Trail Running

My sister-in-law is trying to talk me into doing an ultra marathon trail run. Logan Peak. 28 miles across mountain peaks. 7261 feet change in elevation. Does that sound insane? I'm excited about the trail running - reduced overuse injuries, change of scenery, and an intense workout. But I'm a little nervous about the 28 miles when I haven't been training for long distances.
Have you ever tried trail running? How about an ultra marathon?

Friday, April 1, 2011

Gearing up for half-marathon

Smithfield City is hosting their first ever half marathon. If you live in Northern Utah you are definitely going to want to check this out. Smithfield City does a fabulous job on their short races (Turkey Trot and Health Days). This half-marathon is not going to be easy (hills galore) but I know it will be well-organized and my favorite part - no smelly bus ride up a canyon. You begin and end at the Rec. Center (it's a loop so it won't be boring). I am so excited for this race. I get nervous just thinking about it, but excited as well. If any of you live out of town and want to run, we've got a fabulous guest room! Any race plans in your future?